Coronavirus Concerns for 9/11 Community
The Coronavirus is an Even Bigger Threat to 9/11 Exposure Victims
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has officially arrived in the tristate area with over 330 cases in New York state, nearly 100 in New York City, at least 23 in New Jersey, and at least three cases in Connecticut. Among those exposed in New York City, three confirmed victims of Coronavirus have been identified within the 9/11 Exposure Zone. With 80% of the nearly 100,000 confirmed 9/11 exposure victims enrolled into the World Trade Center Health Program living in the tri-state area, local doctors and medical experts have issued guidance to the 9/11 community. However, according to the experts, this advice should be followed by the nearly 20,000 victims of 9/11 toxins exposure living outside of the tristate area as well.
The concern is that many of the WTC patients are first-responders on the front lines and their jobs deal with the public regularly. Many of the WTC responders have pulmonary conditions and other chronic diseases. Individuals with chronic conditions and the elderly appear to be the greatest risk for the severe consequences of COVID-19, such as viral pneumonia. – Dr. Jacqueline Moline, director of the Northwell Health Queens World Trade Center Health Program
We do very much worry about people from the World Trade Center incident. This is New York, right, where we have a number of people who may be suffering from lung dysfunction due to their exposure. So it’s basically that people when your lung function and structure are not normal your risk is greater. – Dr. Mitchell Katz, president of NYC Health + Hospitals.
9/11 Exposure Victims with Respiratory Conditions are Most At Risk
Drs. Moline and Katz advise that the 9/11 community with chronic conditions or lung dysfunction may be at greater risk of severe adverse consequences due to COVID-19. It should also be noted that in 2019, Dr. William Oh of Mount Sinai in New York commented the higher prostate cancer rate among 9/11 responders suggests “That the dust cloud could have somehow changed the person’s immune system.” In other words, 9/11 toxins alone could have permanently weakened the immune system of exposure victims – not just those currently suffering from chronic conditions. Additionally, there are over 16,000 confirmed 9/11 cancer victims may have weakened immune systems due to their diagnosis and treatment such as chemotherapy which can cause a compromised immune system.