Press Releases

As Brooklyn VA Prepares to be Central Treatment Center for NYC Veterans with COVID-19, Rose Calls for Increase in Capacity

Congressman urges Secretary of VA to increase staffing, capacity, and deploy mobile hospital unit in Brooklyn VA campus parking lot

Brooklyn, March 24, 2020

Congressman Max Rose, Member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, is urging the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to take steps to drastically increase capacity for treatment at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center. This push follows guidance from VA that all New York City veterans who receive VA care and who need to be hospitalized with coronavirus (COVID-19) will be admitted to the Brooklyn VA.


“We cannot wait until it’s too late to increase capacity at our hospitals—and this of course includes the VA,” said Rose, an Army combat veteran. “With the Brooklyn VA preparing to be the central treatment center for New York City veterans who contract the coronavirus, we need to make sure that the facility is fully prepared for the influx.”


Rose’s letter to the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs requests VA increase staffing and capacity both in the Brooklyn VA facility to prepare for a surge in veterans with COVID-19 as well as to deploy a mobile hospital unit in the Brooklyn VA campus parking lot to further support the main facility.


“We have received guidance from your department that all New York City veterans who have care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and need to be admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 care will be admitted to the Brooklyn VAMC,” wrote Rose in a letter to Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs. “We must be proactive in planning for what will inevitably come—an influx of veterans with COVID-19 symptoms from across New York City to the Brooklyn VAMC.”


Rose, a former nonprofit healthcare executive, has been leading efforts to expand hospital and testing capacity for the coronavirus. As New York continues to seek every possible avenue to increase hospital capacity in response to COVID-19, Rose has proposed opening VA hospitals and facilities up to the general public on an emergency basis. Following Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stating yesterday that the Department of Defense is prepared to deploy military field hospitals to help address the COVID-19 surge, Rose requested Ft. Hamilton be examined as a potential location for deployment.


Last week, Rose and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo helped secure emergency tents for RUMC to expand capacity at the hospital for coronavirus treatment. Following a push by Rose, the Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort will be deployed to New York Harbor in the coming weeks and will expand capacity by 1,000 beds.


Full text of letter HERE.