A group of 20 UCSF Medical volunteers were hailed as heroes as they flew out early Saturday to help with the COVID-19 crisis in New York City.
They also got a surprise message from Steph Curry.
“I just want to say we’re thinking about you guys,” Curry said. “Praying for your health and safety. Know that you’re doing amazing work helping people that need it the most. Safe travels.”
The 12 doctors and eight nurses will carry out their mission in one of the country’s worst hotspots. They’ve already been working a COVID-19 unit in San Francisco, but since there are few patients than anticipated there, they decided to see how they could help in New York.
“Many of us who are on the front lines feel a sense of guilt in seeing the suffering from colleagues who are across the country in Elmhurst, New York City, New Orleans and Michigan,” said UCSF Dr. Armond Esmaili.
They are arriving just as there are some signs of hope in New York. New infections and hospitalizations are slowing, and the crisis there seems to be under control for now in the suburbs. But the death toll keeps climbing, now at more than 8,600.
“It is stabilizing at a horrific rate,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “These are incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain.”
The weary medical staff already in the trenches welcomes these volunteers with open arms.
“They deserve kudos for coming to a level one trauma center that’s a hotspot,” one nurse said. “And I’m so grateful for that, and so is everyone else. Thank you.”
UCSF said 200 medical workers volunteered to go, 20 were selected.