The Christian Charity Behind Central Park’s Field Hospital

Tags: Currents Central Park, Christians, Coronavirus, Health, Health Care, Hospital, Manhattan, Media, Mount Sinai, National News, New York, New York City, New York News, New York State, Samaritan's Purse

By Emily Drooby

New York City hospitals are stretched to the breaking point amid the COVID-19 crisis, and a 68-bed emergency facility in Central Park made possible by a Christian charity is being called a godsend. 

When the Navy’s USNS Comfort steamed into New York Harbor, another beacon of hope was being pitched in the park: a field hospital built in Central Park’s East Meadow. 

The facility was set up by Mount Sinai Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization that provides aid all over the world.

Currents News spoke with Brock Kreitzburg, who heads their international disaster response unit.

“Our mission is to help people who are hurting both physically and spiritually around the world,” he explained. “This is an opportunity to show the love of Christ both in action and in word.”

The relief organization is run by Franklin Graham, son of televangelist Billy Graham. 

They’re treating people infected with COVID-19, easing the crunch at nearby Mount Sinai. So far, the field hospital has treated at least 12 patients.

Inside the tents are some 90 doctors, nurses and other professionals on the job.

“That’s what we do,” Brock said. “We have been responding to disasters around the world for the last 30 years. We responded to earthquakes, hurricanes, ebola back in 2014. So, God has set us up to be able to prepare well.”

The organization’s policy asks volunteers to adhere to a statement of faith, which includes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

This has been criticized in New York. 

But Samaritan’s Purse insists they help everyone. They don’t discriminate, and they have the track-record to prove it.

The Central Park hospital comes just two weeks after they set up an identical one in Italy to deal with the brutal coronavirus crisis there. 

According to Brock, while there’s no other field hospitals planned in the U.S. yet,  they’ll go where they’re needed.