The makeshift hospital in New York City is being run by none other than anti-LGBT+ preacher Franklin Graham
On Tuesday morning, a makeshift hospital in New York City’s Central Park sprouted as the skyscrapers surrounding it looked on.
It was an effort to aid the city’s hospitals on dire straits as the coronavirus pandemic bears down on public health services. Samaritan’s Purse, a relief organisation, stepped in.
But as mayor Bill de Blasio praised the nondenominational evangelical Christian humanitarian group, he forgot to mention it’s run by anti-LGBT+ preacher Franklin Graham.
Thought you’d seen the last of him after every single one of his UK tour venues dropped him?
Volunteers must sign severely anti-gay ‘statement of faith’ to join hospital task force.
It was a sight jarring to New Yorkers.
A spot in the East Meadows once heaving with gawking tourists and panting joggers was transformed into a giant field hospital which will house 68 beds, according to Samaritan’s Purse.
White tents rose from the trimmed grass, crates of medical supplies covered where picnic blankets were once unfurled, as volunteers from local church groups set to work.
On Sunday, the organisation put out a call to Christian doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medics willing to tend to those sickened with COVID-19.
If you are a Christian doctor, nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional interested in serving COVID-19 patients in our @SamaritansPurse Emergency Field Hospital in NYC, please visit https://t.co/EEw1jNtrrk. pic.twitter.com/5i7EeKxLDi
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 29, 2020
All volunteers and healthcare staffers had to read and adhere to a statement of faith in which marriage is defined as “exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female” and the unrighteous are sentenced to “everlasting punishment in hell”.
We are sure such a pledge will significantly better the treatment they offer patients. Certain of it. Absolutely 100 per cent sure of it, yes.
New York City Hall insists Franklin Graham hospital will adhere to anti-discriminatory policy.
The ad hoc respiratory unit will, organisers say, tend to patients from Mount Sinai, the city’s prime hospital network.
When pressed by gothamist on whether the enlisting pledge was discriminatory and on Graham’s egregious track record, a City Hall representative did not say the office was concerned about the pledge.
“Our record on human rights is clear; and we are confident that the joint effort by Mt Sinai and Samaritan’s Purse will save New Yorkers’ lives while adhering to the values we hold dear by providing care to anyone who needs it, regardless of background,” the spokesperson said.
They added that as the unit will operate as a Mount Sinai facility, it must adhere to hospital policy around discrimination.
“The Mount Sinai Health System complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate, exclude, or treat people differently on the basis of race, colour, national origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” the network’s policy reads.
Moreover, gay New York senator Brad Hoylman delivered a swift broadside against Graham, urging the religious leader to “publicly assure LGBT+ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as everyone else”.
You know those medical tents being constructed in Central Park?
They’re being set up by notorious anti-gay bigot Franklin Graham.
Mr. Graham must promise to treat EVERY patient with dignity and respect. pic.twitter.com/9ynZ4jHvrU
— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) March 30, 2020
“COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate,” he wrote in a statement published on Twitter Monday, “and neither should Franklin Grahan.
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“It’s unacceptable that a New Yorker infected with COVID-19 could be subjected to discriminatory treatment from an organisation whose leader calls [the LGBT+ community] ‘immoral’ and ‘detestable’.”
Samaritan’s Purse also funded and opened a field hospital in Cremona, Milan, according to a news release from the organisation dropped Monday.
“We have more than 65 disaster relief personnel on the ground in Italy serving in Jesus’ Name,” the statement read.