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Temporary pandemic hospital in NYC cost $52 million to build. It treated 79 patients and closed a month later.

23 July 2020

DOMI GOOD — In a startling waste of taxpayer money, a temporary pandemic hospital constructed in New York City cost $52 million, but in the end served only 79 patients before closing its doors a month later.

According to a recent New York Times exposé, the hospital, which was built at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens at the height of the city’s outbreak, “should’ve been a success story: It opened at the height of the pandemic, with a full staff eager to treat virus patients.” But instead it served only as an illustration of “the missteps made at every level of government in the race to create more hospital capacity” amid the pandemic.

The Times reported that the state paid as much as $732 an hour for doctors to essentially do nothing but paperwork at the facility. “I basically got paid $2,000 a day to sit on my phone and look at Facebook,” admitted Katie Capano, a nurse practitioner who worked at Billie Jean King. “We all felt guilty. I felt really ashamed, to be honest.” […]

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