The 60-bed respiratory care unit will handle overflow patients from Mount Sinai, as the hospital grapples with a surge in novel coronavirus cases. Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical nonprofit led by the virulently anti-LGBTQ and Islamaphobic preacher Franklin Graham, will handle operations.
A close ally to President Trump, Graham frequently attacks the “homosexual agenda” and “transgender lie,” and has described Islam as “wicked and evil.”
While de Blasio said he was troubled to learn of Graham’s past comments, the mayor told reporters on Tuesday that he was assured the group will act in a manner “truly consistent with the values and the laws of New York City.” He said he spoke personally with Mount Sinai CEO Dr. Ken Davis, who told him Samaritan’s Purse had signed a written pledge to treat all patients equally.
“We’re going to send people over from the Mayor’s Office to monitor,” de Blasio said. “I am very concerned that this is done right. But if it is done right, we need all the help we can get.”