Watch CBS News

Coronavirus Update: First Responders Offer A Special Thank You To Front-Line Workers At Elmhurst Hospital

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Gratitude for healthcare heroes on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic is profound, and many are finding ways to thank them, including some fellow first responders.

On Broadway outside hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital on Thursday, there was was an outsized expression of appreciation from New Yorkers in the form of a giant styrofoam "Thank you."

Messages of thanks, an attitude of gratitude, took an interesting and noisy form behind the hospital on 41st Avenue. Port Authority Police officers used hospital-grade disinfectant and special aerosol blowers to sanitize almost a dozen vehicles, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.


The vehicles are used to transport hospital patients and staff members. It's the kind of environment in which you really cannot be socially distant.

Transport driver Luis Gonzalez said he's worried about conditions in his van and is grateful.

"Safety for our staff members and the patients that we transport, so it's good that they come and do this," Gonzalez said.

MORECoronavirus Update: More Than A Dozen Patients Die With 24 Hours At Queens Hospital

Port Authority police lost 37 members on 9/11, so they sympathize with the danger and heartache healthcare workers are now enduring.

"This is 9/11 in a whole different magnitude, affecting the whole country. We're just humbled to try to help them," Port Authority PBA President Paul Nunziato said.

"They should be treated like rock stars. They're definitely superheroes. They're the very front line," said Carlos Morales of the Port Authority Police.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Port Authority PBA went a step beyond disinfecting. It donated equipment and gallons of cleaner so hospital staff can continue to sanitize vehicles and work stations.

"We get thank yous from all around the country and all around the world, and help like this really goes a long way," said Elmhurst Hospital's Anthony Jarzemeowski.

The world wants to say thanks, including a man named "Wilmer," who drove up and offered an impromptu serenade in Spanish, singing everything is going to be all right.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.