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Peterson Air Force Base sending 1,100 to combat coronavirus in New York

Peterson Air Force Base (Air Force/Released)

As the U.S. Department of Defense mobilizes to combat the coronavirus crisis, 1,100 personnel from U.S. Northern Command are being sent to New York City, one of the largest COVID-19 hotspots in the United States.

The group, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, is largely comprised of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, said John Cornelio, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for Northern Command.

The 1,100 include reservists and active duty members assigned elsewhere who are being moved to join a team at the Jacob K. Javits Center — a convention center in Manhattan converted by the DOD into the “largest hospital in the U.S.” with a 2,500-bed capacity.

The pandemic has already claimed the lives of more than 2,200 people in New York City, according to The Associated Press.

The goal is for Northern Command’s personnel to be at the Javits Center within the next 72 hours, and stay there “as long as necessary.”

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“Some of them have already started to depart,” Cornelio said.

As of Sunday, it is estimated that the Department of Defense has nearly 7,000 DOD military across the country supporting the effort against COVID-19.

“The number continues to rise every day,” Cornelio said. “The vast majority are medical professionals who are on the front lines.”

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© 2020 The Denver Post