Just a month ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo was crying out for help to house COVID-19 patients. Samaritan’s Purse showed up in New York City with a field hospital to ease the shortage of beds. They set their tents up in Central Park and started taking patients on April 1st.
The mobile hospital boasted 68 beds in 14 tents, with 10 ICU beds complete with ventilators. They received hundreds of patients in the month they have been operating there.
Samaritan’s Purse also set up a field hospital in Cremona, Italy, and has medical teams working on the Venezuela-Columbian border to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The organization maintains a Christian ethic among those who work there. Franklin Graham, the founder, and son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, has a reputation for being outspoken from a Christian perspective on LGBTQ issues, marriage, and other matters that are, to understate it, controversial.
Consequently, Graham signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mount Sinai Health System promising not to discriminate against any patient. He commented:
In other words, as a religious charity, while we lawfully hire staff who share our Christian beliefs, we do not discriminate in who we serve. We have provided billions of dollars of medical care and supplies, food and water, and emergency shelter without any conditions whatsoever. Our Christian faith compels us — like the biblical Good Samaritan — to love and serve everyone in need, regardless of their faith or background.
The organization’s mission statement says it all:
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
New York City kicks Samaritan’s Purse out
You would think, after the good work that Samaritan’s Purse did in New York, a thank-you might be in order, but apparently, some New Yorkers don’t think that way. Congresspeople like Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney were ungrateful enough to question Mt. Sinai’s partnership with Samaritan’s Purse.
According to the New York Post:
Four local Democratic members of Congress — Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat and AOC — sent a letter to Mount Sinai expressing their “concern” about the group’s efforts and demanding to know how it had received permission to operate in Central Park.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson went further demanding that Mt. Sinai cut ties with Samaritan’s Purse:
This group, which is 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. Mount Sinai must sever its relationship with Samaritan’s Purse.
Under pressure, Mt. Sinai did cut ties and Samaritan’s Purse is packing up its field hospital to go where ever it may be needed. I think it would be fitting if they shook off the dust off their feet against New York City as they go.
Read more about Samaritan’s Purse’s ministry and work here.
Learn more about the New York City operation. Watch: