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Capt. John Rotruck, commanding officer of the Military Treatment Facility aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) speaks to media before the ship departs Naval Base San Diego.
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SAN DIEGO (March 23, 2020) Capt. John Rotruck, commanding officer of the Medical Treatment Facility aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), speaks to members of the press before the ship departs Naval Base San Diego, March 23, 2020. Mercy deployed in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense's missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DOD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Natalie M. Byers/Released)

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