As the U.S. ramps up efforts to combat the ongoing novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of auto-related events are being put on hold, including the New York Auto Show. Originally slated to take place in April, the show has since been pushed back to late August, freeing up the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to become a field hospital capable of housing thousands of patients.
Yesterday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo toured the Javits Center, where FEMA was hard at work setting up the New York Auto Show venue as a new temporary hospital.
“Equipment from both the state and federal government is being delivered here,” Cuomo wrote in a tweet. “My thanks go to everyone working so hard to make this happen so quickly.”
Toured the Javits Center today where FEMA has started work on a 1,000-bed temporary hospital to open next week.
Equipment from both the state & federal government is being delivered here.
My thanks go to everyone working so hard to make this happen so quickly. pic.twitter.com/4gStus7TUo
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 23, 2020
Located at 655 West 34th Street in Manhattan, the Javits Center spans some 1.8 million square feet, making it a perfect venue for the mass of vehicles on display every year at the New York Auto Show. However, with the show pushed back and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic threatening to overwhelm local healthcare facilities, the center is being repurposed to house more than 2,000 patients, with the first patients arriving in April.
The converted New York Auto Show venue is the latest in a line of auto-related efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, General Motors announced it would reconfigure a production facility in Kokomo, Indiana, to build medical ventilators. Working alongside Ventec, a medical technology company, the GM facility originally produced small electronic components for various GM vehicles. Both Ford and Tesla have also indicated they will build respirators in response to the virus.
Meanwhile, various other auto events have been put on hold, including the debut of the debut of the Cadillac Lyriq all-electric crossover, which may instead drop cover in an online livestream.