The Pentagon is deploying two Navy hospital ships, officials said.March 18, 2020, 4:55 PM7 min read The U.S. military is being tasked with providing additional resources and personnel to help the country combat the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading across the country. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that two U.S. Navy hospital ships would be deployed on each of America’s coasts to expand the availability of hospital beds. Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers and field hospitals may be utilized, but the reality is that even with its unique resources, the military would still face hurdles that could limit its usefulness. Defense Secretary Mark Esper also announced on Tuesday that the Defense Department was providing five million N95 respirator masks and other protective equipment to the government for distribution, along with 2,000 ventilators. Additionally, the 16 department labs that can currently process COVID-19 tests can now be used by civilians, not just DOD-personnel, he said. Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis. But as the number of Americans testing positive

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