Pa. health secretary honors first responders of 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine opened Friday’s coronavirus press conference with a moment of silence for the lives lost in the 9/11 attacks.

But she also marked the anniversary by recognizing those who are continuing to help others amid another crisis: front-line workers.

“In addition to thanking all those who served 19 years ago, I want to thank our first responders who are on the front lines right now of the worst pandemic we have experienced in our lifetime,” she said.

First responders and health care workers have answered the call to save many lives over the past several months, she said. In many cases, those who have been treating COVID-19 patients have had to stay away from their families to keep them safe from the virus.

“They have worked non-stop to save lives in our community, in hospitals, and in long-term care facilities, and they have spent time away from their families to keep them safe after treating COVID-19 patients.

“Just as our first responders are united in protecting us, Pennsylvanias must also be united in this fight to stop the spread of COVID-19,” added Levine, which includes mask-wearing and social distancing.

Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego wrapped up Friday’s briefing by quoting Sandy Dahl, the wife of the late United 93 Capt. Jason Dahl: “If we learn nothing from this tragedy, we must learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”