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The controversial Samaritan’s Purse field hospital has been dismantled in New York’s Central Park due to public outcry about the political and religious beliefs of the hospital’s evangelical backers.
The final patients were discharged from the 68-bed hospital on May 5 and the dozens of tents have been decontaminated to be sent back to the warehouse in North Carolina, Samaritan’s Purse said in a statement to Fox News.
The organization, run by the Rev. Franklin Graham, treated more than 300 COVID-19 patients, relieving the burden of neighboring Mount Sinai Hospital, in a city slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
But local officials and activists had called on the charity group to shutter its operation, particularly because of its mandate that employees endorse a “statement of faith” which includes opposition to same-sex marriage.
“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement in early May. “This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed.”
“Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community,” he added.
More than 250 staff members from Samaritan’s Purse, including 170 medical personnel, worked to treat coronavirus patients.
At least 40 of those staffers will stay within the Mount Sinai system and be redeployed to Beth Israel Hospital.
Fox News’ Maria Paronich contributed to this report.