UPDATE, Sunday March 22: Just kidding, Seattle. Trump and the Department of Defense changed plans. The Mercy is headed for Los Angeles.
It looks like the USNS Mercy, one of the Navy's two 1,000-bed hospital ships, is coming for Seattle. It is expected to leave its homeport of San Diego next week, reports ABC News. This week, Washington's Governor Inslee and California's Governor Newsom both requested the ship for their respective states, but a U.S. official told ABC News that the Mercy is expected to go to the Seattle area. The Trump administration has not yet made an official announcement.*
Inslee made a strong plea for the ship, writing an impassioned letter to President Trump on Tuesday.
"Washington represents two percent of the American population, 20 percent of the COVID-19 infections, and 61 percent of the fatalities caused by COVID-19," Inslee wrote. "It is clear that our medical capacity is the first to be impacted and is now the most severely challenged in the nation." He concluded his letter with this:
I can think of no better way to signal to the residents of Washington that their Federal government is fully committed to their health and survival than the sight of a large U.S. Navy hospital ship dropping anchor in the harbor at Seattle. The psychological value to our citizens, not only in Washington but also across the nation, would be of major importance. Thank you for your support of this request.
Very truly yours,
Based on ABC's reporting, it seems like "a large U.S. Navy hospital ship" will soon be "dropping anchor in the harbor at Seattle." That big white ship with red crosses would dramatically change the mood in Puget Sound.
One last thought: I can't get over Inslee's "very truly yours" sign-off. He's writing to a man who recently called him a snake, and yet Inslee comes off as such a gentleman. Michelle Obama's "when they go low, we go high" speech must be playing in his head.
*I wouldn't rule out Trump throwing a fit and it getting rerouted to Oregon just to piss off Washington and California.