In Central Park, the bulky help of a homophobic evangelist

Samaritan’s Purse’s facilities in Central Park are for patients sent by Mount Sinai Hospital across the street (here, March 31).
Samaritan’s Purse’s facilities in Central Park are for patients sent by Mount Sinai Hospital across the street (here, March 31). Vanessa Carvalho / Zuma / ABACA

Among the large armada deployed to rescue New York in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, there are the flagships: theUSNS Comfort, huge hospital ship with some 1,000 beds and 12 operating theaters, arrived from the military base in Norfolk (Virginia) and arrived safely in the metropolis on March 30.

The same day a field hospital was opened in the Javits Center, Manhattan convention center on the Hudson River, which will add at least 2,500 beds, while city mayor Bill de Blasio announced that land Queens tennis courts, which host the US Open at the end of each summer, are also said to be hospitals.

68 beds including 10 intensive care places

And then there are these dozens of tents, which appeared during the last weekend of March in the greenery of Central Park: 68 beds including 10 intensive care places with artificial respirators, to lend a helping hand to the Mount Sinai hospital installed just opposite, on Fifth Avenue. A drop of water (New York had 3,000 intensive care spaces at the end of March, it needs twelve times more), but a drop of water that has not gone unnoticed.

On one of the trucks of the Samaritan’s Purse association ("Samaritan purse"), having brought the material, is written: "Serve in the name of Jesus". This NGO, made up of nearly 3,000 employees and 190,000 volunteers, is part of the Evangelical Church of Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, a famous preacher, who died in 2018. The son Graham's ultraconservative and anti-gay convictions raised a few warnings. "Homophobic pastor Franklin Graham must guarantee that all LGBTQ patients with Covid-19 will be treated with dignity and respect", New York State Democratic Senator Brad Hoylman, himself gay, warned in a statement.

An arrival to clear

Religious communities' investment in health has always existed in the United States. The names of the hospitals bear witness to this (Mount Sinai founded for the Jews, Presbyterian by the Salvation Army, Lenox Hill by German immigrants). But the emergence of the Franklin Graham evangelists from the very conservative North Carolina is not frankly in the minds of New Yorkers. Franklin Graham himself recognized him, declaring to the New york post : "Honestly, this is the most unlikely place we have ever been. " The mayor of New York tried to clear the arrival of this bulky host.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here