As a viral pandemic has spread around the globe, in the United States, New York has become a hotspot. Specifically, New York City. To deal with the rapidly spreading virus, the state and city have begun to make more hospital beds available by opening temporary facilities. One o these is in the Javits Center where there are now 1,000 beds available. In addition, a Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived in a New York City port today with an additional 1,000 beds. But there also have been a field hospitals set up in Central Park, which have come to the attention of New York Senator Brad Hoylman.
"You know those medical tents being constructed in Central Park?" he wrote to Twitter Monday. "They're being set up by notorious anti-gay bigot Franklin Graham."
Graham is an evangelist preacher, who's become infamous for his anti-gay tirades. In the past he has blamed gay sex for a rise in sexually transmitted infections, insinuated that then presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg faced "eternal damnation" for being gay, and called the Pride flag "offensive." Earlier this year he was dropped from every venue of a planned U.K. tour following backlash over his homophobia. Franklin is notably the son of Billy Graham and has spoken multiple times at Trump rallies. Now Hoylman is worried that he will allow his rampant discrimination to determine who is and is not treated in these new medical facilities.
"Mr. Graham must promise to treat EVERY patient with dignity and respect," Hoylman wrote. The facilities are being organized by Samaratins Purse, of which Graham is the President and CEO.
The tweet included a release putting the Graham "on notice." In it Hoylman called on New York City and Mount Sinai to monitor the field hospital to "ensure there are no victims of discrimination.
"Today I'm calling on Franklin Graham to publicly assure LGBTQ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as anyone else at the Central Park field hospital," the statement reads. "The City of New York and the Mount Sinai hospital network must monitor conditions closely at Graham's facility and ensure every single LGBTQ patient is treated fairly."
While he goes on to say that "beggars can't be choosers: New York needs every ventilator we can get," Hoylman emphasizes that all patients must be "treated with dignity and respect.
"We'll be watching."