Use Surplus Federal Real Property to Expand Medical and Quarantine Capacity for COVID-19

Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Vice President Mike Pence stated that the government was committed to answering requests from governors for additional capacity by “creating field hospitals” or “retrofitting existing buildings,” with support from the Army Corps of Engineers. 

In addition to constructing field hospitals and expanding existing hospital capacity, the US government should identify potential surplus federal real property for immediate conversion to increase hospital bed capacity and to fulfill other needs, such as extensive quarantines or isolation needs related to COVID-19. The federal government has thousands of surplus facilities, including hospital buildings and dormitories, that are eligible to be repurposed for public health needs under current federal law.

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