Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” on Tuesday that the field hospital erected in New York City’s famed Central Park will provide care and love to all New Yorkers who are brought there.
Graham, who oversees Samaritan’s Purse, said the facility will be staffed by 70 health care workers—some who’ve served in the military—and 68 beds. The facility is set to receive its first patient sometime Tuesday evening. Samaritan’s Purse, is a Christian organization that responds to crisis situations around the world. The organization had a similar facility in Italy to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
The field hospital was trucked in from North Carolina on four Samaritan’s Purse tractor-trailers, according to a statement from the group.
Graham talked to Todd Starnes, the host, about heartbreaking stories where coronavirus patients were forced to die without family around them due to the high transmission rate of the disease. He said that he prays that all the patients who arrive at the facility in New York will walk out, but promised that nobody will die alone.
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“I can tell you right now, if anyone does perish in our facility, they are not going to die alone,” he said. “Our doctors and nurses are going to surround them and pray for them…hold their hand until they take their last breath. They will never die alone.”
The Gothamist, a news website in New York, sounded the alarm on Monday that Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the efforts by the group. The website said the mayor failed to mention that Graham is a “notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda.”
Graham says Samaritan’s Purse is Christian-based and they “come in the name of Jesus.” He said the organization does not discriminate in its treatment of anyone, regardless of their creed or sexual orientation. He said this is a time to put differences aside and work to defeat the pandemic.
“We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus,” Graham said in an earlier statement.