Samaritan’s Purse Doctor at NYC Field Hospital Says Coronavirus is Not the End of the World But Illness is ‘Serious’

Workers transport supplies from Mount Sinai Hospital to the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital on the East Meadow of New York CIty’s Central Park on Thursday, April 2, 2020. | The Christian Post/Leonardo Blair

As some Americans including pockets of practicing Christians raise skepticism about how much of a threat the new coronavirus poses to their lives, a doctor leading the Samaritan’s Purse coronavirus response at a field hospital in Central Park warned Thursday that “it’s serious,” as residents welcomed the evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization.

While urging people not to be hysterical or dismissive of the disease, Dr. K. Elliott Tenpenny said Americans need to treat the coronavirus as “a serious disease.”

“This is not something to think this is the end of the world, but it is not something that’s also to dismiss,” Tenpenny told The Christian Post at the site of the field hospital Thursday. “It’s serious. It’s a serious disease. It’s not the end of the world. We’re going to make it through this, but it is serious and anyone that says differently I don’t believe they’re speaking truthfully.”

Tenpenny’s warning comes as White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urged every state to begin practicing recommended social distancing guidelines after highlighting that data on the spread of the virus indicates not everyone is treating the virus with the seriousness it deserves.

“We’re only as strong as every community, every county, every state, every American following the guidelines to a T,” Birx said Thursday. “And I can tell by the curve (of infections) and as it is today that not every American is following it.”

Many Americans, like Brooklyn resident David Self, who traveled to Manhattan to observe the Samaritan’s Purse 68-bed field hospital that opened Wednesday adjacent to Mount Sinai Hospital in Central Park’s East Meadow, count themselves among the skeptics.

“I came from Brooklyn. I was here yesterday to just to check it out because the media is saying the hospitals are overwhelmed but I’m just not seeing that personally. I’ve been to three different hospitals: Lenox, Brooklyn, this one. It’s very quiet. Came by here yesterday, there’s no patients,” Self said. “I think this is being hyped beyond what it actually is.”

He said he was happy that the Franklin Graham-led Samaritan’s Purse had come to assist with the coronavirus crisis but added, “I don’t see what the problem is … there doesn’t seem to be anything to help out for.”

At least 245,573 Americans have been infected by the coronavirus and all states but Wyoming have reported deaths. New York is reporting more than 83,000 positive cases of the coronavirus and more than 45,000 of those have been reported in New York City alone. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that at least 2,468 people have died from the virus statewide and that hospitals will run out of ventilators in about six days.

“It’s like watching a slow-moving hurricane across the country, where you know the path that it’s taking,” Cuomo said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair