Activating the Reserve Fleet for Coronavirus

Who else waiting for it, activating the reserve fleet to serve as mobile hospitals?

I see many of the Roro vessels in the reserve fleet as being excellent mobile hospitals, with their open decks and ventilation. I am surprised that the MARAD instagram or twitter has not posted something to the effect of “See our ships, were ready!”

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An alternative:
Use autoworkers and the army Corps of Engineers to fit out insulated containers with ventilators. Maybe three ventilators per container. Exchange the container doors for regular doors: there are companies that make these and can supply the patterns.

Roll out these mobile ventilators ASAP to wherever the biggest hospital need is. Park them side by side, with a common staging ramp/awning. Instant ventilator ward.

Military to supply the diesel generators.

At the same time nursing schools should be shifting to crash course training of ventilator operators. Government to pay hefty hourly pay.

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The people running things have been fundamentally unable to see things the way we see them for a long time. We’re WW2/Cold War dinosaurs.

Trump just said Mercy and Comfort will be deploying within a week, for what that’s worth?

We have skilled, underutilized factory workers in the Midwest. We have engineers at 3M and Boeing ready to help. We have CEOs who get paid millions because of their entrepreneurial genius. Reverse-engineer the ventilators if needed, and crank them out. We could probably start churning out more ventilators in three weeks, if some leaders lit a fire and got things moving. Same thing with PPE.

This is why leadership is needed and every minute counts.

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I see this a great moment to win for the US merchant marine. When I think of the phrase “war and national emergency,” this is exactly what I think of. Where is MARAD to tout our readiness and promote the utility of an American merchant marine.

Really, I’m expecting Buzby to hold a conference and say “Were standing by here at MARAD with ships and mariners ready to go to the major coastal cities.”

You could be in for a long wait.