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Protecting Veterans and 9/11 First Responders During Another COVID Surge

January 22, 2021 in

As we begin 2021, health experts are reporting that we are in the midst of another COVID-19 surge. This particularly impacts groups ranging from small business owners, to health care professionals on the frontline, to immunocompromised veterans. From nurses who are still recovering mentally and emotionally from the first COVID surge, to the total number of Veterans Affairs COVID cases surpassing 70,000 in the fall, to dozens of 9/11 first responders falling victim to the virus, our society’s particularly vulnerable groups are being hit the hardest and need physical, financial and even legal support now more than ever.

 

Veterans are a High-Risk Group for Contracting COVID-19

 

In late October, Dr. Anthony Fauci had warned military and veteran caregivers at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that our nation would experience a “very difficult fall and winter” due to the pandemic. The uptick in COVID cases and death count among veterans at that time had surpassed those of states, such as Kentucky and Connecticut. In fact, as of October 2020, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported over 70,000 cases. Veterans who already suffer from health conditions related to their service risk a heightened reaction to the symptoms of COVID-19. This is why it is essential that nursing homes, resident care facilities and loved ones of veterans are taking the utmost precautions regarding the pandemic, as best practices will increase the likelihood of stopping the spread.

 

9/11 First Responders are Particularly Susceptible to COVID-19

 

COVID-19 is of great danger to 9/11 first responders who are already susceptible to illness. Nearly 20 years after 9/11, first responders that came to the rescue on the frontlines still suffer the negative aftereffects of the tragic day. Lingering health problems related to debris exposure has led to debilitating respiratory conditions such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

 

For 9/11 first responders suffering these illnesses, their symptoms are exacerbated with the onslaught of COVID-19. According to CBS News, “tens of thousands of first responders and survivors are particularly susceptible to contracting a more severe case of COVID-19 because of the preexisting conditions, cancers and respiratory diseases that stem from their time working at the sites of the attacks.”

 

Protecting Veterans and First-Responders is High Priority

 

Our nation’s heroes are also our nation’s most vulnerable in these trying times. They deserve better protection and the best health care as we battle another wave of the pandemic. If you or a loved one is a veteran who was exposed to COVID via a preventable nursing home outbreak or a violation of pandemic regulations, get in touch with a member of our firm for a no-fee consultation.

 

If you or someone you know is a 9/11 first responder who has experienced a detrimental surge in a 9/11-related illness after contracting COVID-19, talk to an attorney on our 9/11 VCF team, Wendell Tong, Ina Pecani, Beth Jablon, Jessica Denninger, Roger Frankel, Connor Hopkins, who offers extensive experience representing 9/11 World Trade Center first responders and rescue and recovery workers. Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. have recovered over $10 billion in the last decade for our clients and we are proud to serve the New York City area.

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