The statue of the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro lit up in solidarity with all the countries affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The U.S. military will deploy two U.S. hospital ships to free up medical professionals and beds needed for coronavirus patients.

The USNS Comfort is undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, Virginia, and will deploy to New York Harbor in the coming weeks. 

The USNS Mercy, at port in San Diego, "will be prepared to go much sooner" than the Comfort and will deploy somewhere yet to be determined on the West Coast "in days, not weeks," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Wednesday.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, has placed some active duty units on alert to potentially deploy and build field hospitals in areas across the country, according to Joint Staff Surgeon Gen Paul Friedrichs. But officials have stressed that these defense resources are designed to help with combat casualty care, not infectious disease patients.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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