It's just not right, folks. You know it isn't.
The country says it will always remember 9/11. Few politicians miss the chance to appear at this or that commemorative service.
Perhaps it is true we have not forgotten those who died that day. But we have abandoned those who are dying now.
Thousands of construction workers, janitors, communications specialists, food-cart vendors and others who worked amid the noxious fumes for weeks or months-removing debris not only from Ground Zero but from the office buildings that still stood, reviving communications, feeding and providing aid to those who toiled-are sick with lung disease and all manner of rare cancers, according to various health officials. An expert panel created by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg concluded that as many as 410,000 people faced sufficient exposure to health hazards that they could become ill.
About 59 percent of those screened at a city center for patients suffering from World Trade Center-related illnesses are uninsured. The majority have incomes of less than $15,000 a year. Even at a screening center run by Mount Sinai Medical Center for “first responders”-an elite group among those who are turning up sick-an estimated 40 percent lack insurance.
New York politicians have persistently pursued more federal involvement and funding. The federal government has perennially rebuffed them.
Here is one measure: After federal health authorities involved in monitoring and treatment of World Trade Center emergency responders estimated they would need $283 million a year to run the program, President Bush’s budget allocated $25 million.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The other victims of 9/11
Have we forgotten about those who died or are dying from lung diseases caused by breathing the toxic dust at Ground Zero? Take a look at this excerpt from an article called "Ignoring the Other Victims of 9/11" by Marie Cocco: