Almost 100 human being enrolled in the human being Trade center Health routine have passed away from the virus, despite advocates believe many others past the registry have actually succumbed. Meanwhile, thousands left fragile by 9/11 illnesses have contracted COVID.

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Two years ago, Steven Brandow joined other NYPD police officers to dig through the smoldering rubble at Ground Zero, dedicating around a month to the substantial recovery effort.

He spent an additional five years through the department prior to retiring in 2006, and also then functioned as a security guard manager.

In so late December, Brandow contract COVID, and also he was hospitalized and put top top life support for around six weeks. His wife, Gladys, believed he’d pull through. However in February, Steven Brandow passed away of COVID-19 at period 56.

He was the kind of human who befriended whomever he met, stated his wife, who lives on lengthy Island v their 15-year-old son, also named Steven. Brandow coached small League and helped v Boy Scouts when their son was younger, and shoveled snow for elderly neighbors throughout the winter.

“He was a people person,” stated Gladys Brandow, a 51-year-old account manager for AT&T. “Whatever he have the right to do to aid people, that was just a really down-to-earth and very, very helpful person.”


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Steven Brandow, who retired indigenous the NYPD in 2006, died of COVID-19 in February. Courtesy of Gladys Brandow
As the 20th anniversary the the terror attacks arrives just over 1 ½ years right into the pandemic, the main count the 9/11 survivors and first responders who have died of COVID-19 is nearing 100. That’s much more than twin the number of fatalities reported last Sept. 11.

Some 29 survivors and 68 an initial responders the the more than 112,000 enrolled in the civilization Trade center Health routine had died from the virus together of August’s end, according to data compiled through the U.S. Centers for an illness Control and Prevention, which oversees the program. That number includes Brandow.

Advocates doubt the true toll is far higher, provided the estimated hundreds of thousands of an initial responders, survivors and also other human being with 9/11-related illnesses who haven’t joined the program.


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Lawyer Michael Barasch Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY
Michael Barasch, a lawyer who represents an ext than 25,000 world who are applying to the different Victim Compensation Fund, said much more than 100 of his clients alone have died of the virus.

“And that wasn’t simply COVID — it was COVID and COPD, or COVID and also cancer,” that said.

Illnesses Heighten Danger

Meanwhile, the CDC has likewise counted almost 7,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 9/11 responders and survivors, who space at specific risk of the results of the virus.

Many first responders and also survivors suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, as a result of breathing toxic, contaminated air after the attacks.

For those v cancer, treatments such as chemotherapy have the right to compromise immune systems, too. Such conditions can do people an ext vulnerable come the coronavirus and also its worst symptoms.


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An estimated 400,000 civilization were exposed come 9/11 toxic dust in the after-effects of the attacks, and also only a quarter have actually been screened because that 9/11-related illnesses. Far much more people have passed away as a an outcome of those illnesses than were killed on the day, according to a report through the department of Justice released Tuesday.

Last year, days before the city mostly shut down to guard against the worsening pandemic, the head that the city’s publicly hospital system warned that 9/11 an initial responders and survivors were particularly vulnerable.

“We do very much worry around people indigenous the human being Trade center incident,” city publicly hospital mechanism CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz stated at the time. “This is new York, right, whereby we have actually a number of people who may be experiencing from lung dysfunction because of their exposure. Therefore it’s usually that people, when your lung duty and structure space not normal, your danger is greater.”

Vaccine initiatives Grow

Earlier this year, THE CITY reported just how 9/11 an initial responders and survivors originally had small help obtainable to them to secure a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of being eligible because that early access to the jab in mid-February.

This week, first responders, survivors and their families had an opportunity to acquire vaccinated because that COVID and be screened because that a bevy of problems — including breast, prostate and skin cancer — throughout a health fair in Manhattan.

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Carmen Cubero obtained vaccinated in ~ a wellness fair because that 9/11 survivors in Manhattan Thursday. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY Carmen Cubero, 58, was one of the survivors who got her shot. The Staten Island resident operated in maintenance at the world Trade facility during 9/11.

Cubero to be nervous around getting the vaccine — she has multiple sclerosis and also worried around side effects.

But through the FDA approval and increasing number of those around her getting jabs, she figured the was her turn, she said in Spanish, with her partner, Tony Hernandez, interpreting.

“Everybody in my household got it, for this reason it to be my time to gain it,” she said.


Barasch encouraged anyone that is standard to use for the Victim Compensation Fund.

“If you have actually a 9/11 illness, you are at danger of obtaining COVID and also dying,” Barasch said. “So you require to defend your household in case, God forbid, you get COVID and you die.”

Families are eligible to be compensated because that the death of a love one indigenous COVID-19 as lengthy as a qualifying 9/11-related disease is provided under one of the 3 categories in the fatality certificate: immediate reason of death, underlying causes of fatality or significant conditions contributing to death.

‘Dreams that Retiring Together’

Gladys Brandow tho can’t believe her husband is gone.

But she and her kid are taking as lot solace together they have the right to in assistance from family, friends and also neighbors in Oceanside — some of the very same ones her husband was well-known to assist out. And also the town recently called an avenue in respect of him.

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Surrounded by family, friends and also neighbors, Gladys Brandow and her boy Steven official unveiled the memorial sign. Next time you in #Oceanside, be on the lookout for Police Officer Steven E. Brandow Avenue! pic.twitter.com/chfCtiGI3g

— town of Hempstead (

The Brandows, that met in vermouth on brand-new Year’s eve in 2002, would’ve commemorated their 17th wedding anniversary later this month.

“We had desires of retiring together, perhaps relocating and also being snowbirds. All that is just gone,” Gladys Brandow said.

“My husband was a very solid person and nobody can believe that this virus take it him this young.”