LOS ANGELES — The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) 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-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD’s) missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. The DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as state, local, and public health authorities in protecting the health and safety of the American people.