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Navy hospital ship expected to deploy to Seattle area to assist with coronavirus relief efforts

Navy hospital ship expected to deploy to Seattle area to assist with coronavirus relief efforts
Navy hospital ship expected to deploy to Seattle area to assist with coronavirus relief efforts

A US Navy hospital ship is expected to head to the Seattle area in the next five to ten days, according to a US defense official.

The USNS Mercy is one of two ships being deployed to help respond to the Coronavirus outbreak, though neither will treat patients suffering from the virus.

"That is the expectation" the official said. The final destination could always change depending on civilian needs, the official cautioned.

The second ship, the USNS Comfort is still weeks away from being deployed to New York. "The Comfort, which is on the East Coast, should be ready in a couple weeks," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday.

This story is breaking and will be updated.