At the end of March, the Javits Center was transformed into a 3,000-bed temporary hospital for COVID-19 and other patients, and is now considered the largest hospital in America to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The Jacobs K. Javits Convention Center recently released a video entitled “The Unconventional Hospital” that combines footage of the hospital’s creation with commentary from Alan Steel, President & CEO of the Javits Center.
“With support from a host of federal, state and city agencies, the Javits Center has been transformed into what some are calling the largest hospital in America,” the video’s caption states. “Our workforce repurposed the convention center on Manhattan’s West Side in order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the burden on the local hospital system. We are proud to play a role in this unprecedented crisis and help our fellow New Yorkers in need.”
The video reveals footage of the hospital’s construction from the start of putting up beds to the end when Governor Cuomo congratulated the workers for completing the hospital. In the video, military and medical teams are seen planning out the site and training for accommodating 3,000 patients at a time. The video also features a time lapse from the very beginning in an empty room to the end of the medical center’s construction. The video ends by showing nurses caring for a patient as a large sign reading “We’re all in this together” hangs above the entrance.
The Javits Center is also livestreaming their 6.75-acre green roof that serves as a sanctuary for area wildlife. The roof is home to 29 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees. Before the coronavirus shutdown, Untapped New York Insiders had several opportunities to tour the green roof in person over the past few years.
“Well, we’ve become a hospital. Something we never anticipated we would be, but we are now a 3,000 bed hospital,” Steel said in the video. “The Army Corps of Engineers came to visit the site. It was very impressive to see how they managed pulled together such a wide variety of people with a wide variety of expertise into a cohesive unit. It’s been remarkable for me to see the level of support from Governor Cuomo for this effort. He thanks all of our labor staff personally, and he said to them, ‘Today, you saved lives,” and I think every one of them felt good about that. I’m very proud of what we did, this is a huge task and everyone came together to make it happen. They all came in knowing there were risks that were associated with being in New York City at that point in time, but the carpenters, the electricians, the plumbers, the painters, the cleaners, the security officers, everyone turned up, did what they had to do, recognize it was their job, and they got it done. I’m humbled by it because I see how much the nurses and the doctors and the medical staff at Javits are doing. I’m glad that we can play a role and do what we could.”