The cavalry is coming.
The USNS Comfort is heading to Puerto Rico on Friday, the Navy confirmed.
On Tuesday, Nathan Potter of the Navy’s public affairs office told The Miami Herald that the hospital at sea was still based in Norfolk, Virginia, but if it were to be deployed for Hurricane Maria relief, it would take at least five days to arrive.
The website calls the Comfort a “medical treatment facility,” whose secondary mission is for disaster and/or humanitarian relief. The vessel is a full service medical facility with X-ray machines, all types of doctors, CAT scan units, physical therapy and pharmacy.
Shortly before Hillary Clinton tweeted that the vessel should be sent, a Change.org petition had already been set up, receiving 263,835 signatures in total. The Internet lit up with the hashtag #sendthecomfort.
This all apparently helped (or maybe not).
On Wednesday, FEMA administrator Brock Long confirmed that The Comfort was busy beefing up supplies as well as its crew and medical staff.
The Washington Post reports that Navy Cmdr. Mike Kafka, a service spokesman, said that sending the vessel was a “prudent decision in light of current conditions on ground.”
The Comfort will not be alone. Potter stated the Navy USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Wasp (LHD-1) and USS Oak Hill (LSD-51) has already been providing humanitarian aid to the region.