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Hahnemann Hospital sits abandoned while Philadelphia's medical community struggles to find the beds needed as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in the city.

Hahnemann Hospital sits abandoned while Philadelphia's medical community struggles to find the beds needed as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in the city. (Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

'Seize It': Progressives Urge Philadelphia City Govt. to Take Hahnemann Hospital After Owner Demands $1 Million a Month in Rent

"The city should reopen Hahnemann hospital immediately," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Eoin Higgins

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday joined a rising chorus of progressives demanding the city of Philadelphia seize the shuttered 500-bed Hahnemann hospital from its owner, investment banker Joel Freedman, and reopen the facility to handle the coming peak infections of the coronavirus in the city.

"The city should reopen Hahnemann hospital immediately," Sanders said in a tweet Monday at midday.

Sanders, who supported efforts to stop the hospital's closure in July 2019, including rallying with the facility's supporters, was one of a growing number of advocates calling for the city to take matters into its own hands after Freedman refused to lease the building to the city for less than $1 million a month. 

"Seize it," tweeted progressive radio host Benjamin Dixon.

On Sunday, Freedman's mansion in Philadelphia had "Joel Kills" and "Free Hahnemann" spray painted on its side. 

Philadelphians were not sympathetic. 

The push for using eminent domain to take the hospital and put it back online despite Freedman's demands gained a fan in normally-skepitcal-of-such-actions Esquire journalist Charlie Pierce.

"I am generally not a fan of eminent domain," Pierce wrote Monday, "but if there is a clearer case for it than this one, especially at this moment in time, I don't know what it would be."

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