NORFOLK, Va. (WJZ) — The naval hospital ship USNS Comfort departed for New York on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump spoke at the departure from Norfolk, Virginia. The ship is headed to New York where there are the most coronavirus cases in the United States.

President Trump called the USNS Comfort “a 70,000 ton message of hope.”

The USNS Comfort was once docked here in Baltimore for nearly a quarter of a century.

The ship left Baltimore in 2013. Its new home port would become Norfolk, Virginia.

Officials said logistics and money were the reason for the transfer.

The Comfort has treated soldiers in both Gulf wars, as well as civilians in humanitarian missions and disasters like the Haiti earthquake.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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