Created: January 23, 2021 07:24 PM
Attorneys representing the survivors and first responders from 9/11 believe thousands of them have pre-existing conditions, leaving them exceptionally vulnerable to coronavirus.
Carl Sadler, 79, of Queensbury has been playing it safe the last ten months.
"I have a total of nine different issues that have arisen since 2013 or 2014," said Sadler. "Many of which are bronchitis, asthma, Barret's esophageal. Those things are with you every day."
Sadler was on the 76th floor of the World Trade Center Building Two.
While he made it to safety, he spent hours covered in dust and breathing in the now known to be toxic air that blanketed New York City that day.
"We were just breathing in dust from asbestos from anything that was insulation in the building," said Sadler.
It's cases like Sadler's that have attorney Michael Barasch urging the government to make sure 9/11 first responders and survivors get the vaccine as soon as possible.
"They're sick," said Barasch. "They cannot navigate this complex system of trying to get an appointment online which is why I am imploring the governor, create a special hotline for the 9/11 community."
Barasch represents 20,000 people who are living with the long-term respiratory side effects from the twin tower collapse. One hundred of his clients have died so far after getting coronavirus.
"The death certificates will say causes of death COPD and COVID or COVID and cancer," said Barasch. "All cases these people had underlying conditions which made them unable to fight the virus."
Copyright 2021 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company