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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #41
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    CANCER HITS 283 RESCUERS OF 9/11

    http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/...an_edelman.htm

    By SUSAN EDELMAN

    June 11, 2006 -- Since 9/11, 283 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been diagnosed with cancer, and 33 of them have died of cancer, says a lawyer for the ailing responders.

    David Worby, a lawyer for 8,000 World Trade Center responders, including cops, firefighters and construction workers, said the cases include blood-cell cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's and myeloma.

    Doctors say the cancers can strike three to five years after exposure to toxins such as benzene, a cancer-causing chemical that permeated the WTC site from burning jet fuel.

    "One in 150,000 white males under 40 would normally get the type of acute white blood-cell cancer that strikes a healthy detective," said Worby, whose first client was NYPD narcotics cop John Walcott, now 41. Walcott spent months at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill. The father of three is fighting leukemia.

    "We have nearly 35 of these cancers in the family of 50,000 Ground Zero workers. The odds of that occurring are one in hundreds of millions," Worby said.

    Others suffer tumors of the tongue, throat, testicles, breast, bladder, kidney, colon, intestines, and lung, said Worby, of Worby, Groner, Edelman, & Napoli, Bern, which filed the class-action suit.

    WTC workers who have died of cancer include paramedic Deborah Reeve, 41 (mesothelioma); NYPD Officer Ronald Weintraub, 43 (bile-duct cancer); and Stephen "Rak" Yurek, 46, a Port Authority emergency technician (brain cancer). The families say they were healthy before 9/11.

    Dr. Robin Herbert, a director of WTC medical monitoring at Mount Sinai Hospital, said some of the nearly 16,000 responders screened to date are getting cancer.

    "We do not know at this point if they are WTC-related, but some are unusual cancers we see as red flags," Herbert said.

    Dr. Iris Udasin, principal investigator for the Mount Sinai screening of 500 in New Jersey, said the 9/11 link is "certainly a possibility," she said. "It's what we worry about, and what we fear."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #42
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    First Responders Ask Government To Pay 9-11 Health Bill
    Rescuers Want 'Solid Commitment' To Funding Health Care of 9-11 Workers

    http://www.wnbc.com/news/9386818/detail.html

    UPDATED: 4:59 pm EDT June 17, 2006

    NEW YORK -- Rescue workers and elected officials were among those who attended a rally Saturday at the World Trade Center site calling for a better government response to the health effects of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Organizers said they're looking for a "solid commitment" to fund long-term health monitoring and treatment to address the health needs of those who worked at or near ground zero.

    They said rescue workers “were exposed to toxic contaminants that jeopardized their health and safety. Since that day, many have become seriously ill and others have died.”

    Attention on the issue has increased since a New Jersey medical examiner this year declared that the death of a retired New York City police detective who spent hours at the World Trade Center site was directly related to 9-11.

    Health officials said it may take 20 years before doctors know what Sept. 11 did -- and didn't do -- to the emergency personnel, police, civilians and others engulfed in the airborne remains of the twin towers.

    The primary organizers of the event were the 2 million-member New York State AFL-CIO and Unsung Heroes Helping Heroes, an organization of rescue and recovery workers working on behalf of the rights of disaster-response workers.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #43
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    Protesters Urge Better Care for Those Exposed to 9/11 Dust

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/nyregion/18zero.html

    By DAMIEN CAVE
    Published: June 18, 2006

    More than 200 people — first responders, union members and politicians — rallied at ground zero yesterday to protest the government's response to the health effects of 9/11 and to demand comprehensive care for those possibly sickened by the World Trade Center wreckage.

    "Our goal is very simple," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a New York City Democrat. "We want everyone exposed to the deadly toxins monitored and everyone who is sick treated."

    The two-hour rally was the latest effort by what has become an organized coalition dedicated to addressing the long-term impact of the disaster. It came as a growing body of evidence suggested that the noxious cocktail of dust and fumes at the World Trade Center site has caused lung problems, other illnesses and, in at least one case, death.

    Many of the two dozen or so people who spoke at the event, including former recovery workers and their families, said that top federal, state and local officials seemed to be focusing on 9/11 memorials while workers who untangled the gnarled debris at ground zero continued to face red tape, resistance and skepticism over their claims.

    In speeches laced with words like "shameful," "disgraceful" and "outrageous," they described a health care system and a post-9/11 bureaucracy that offered lip service to their heroic service, but little else.

    Joseph Zadroga, the father of a New York police detective, James Zadroga, who died in January, said that doctors and Police Department officials had ignored his son's sickness until it was too late. Detective Zadroga, 34, died from heart and lung complications that a medical examiner in New Jersey described as "directly related to the 9/11 incident."

    Detective Zadroga died on the floor of his bedroom, Mr. Zadroga said, his voice cracking, "with his daughter's bottle in hand, and his daughter on the bed."

    "I really believe," he said later in an interview, "that my son would be alive today if they took care of him right after 9/11."

    Detective Zadroga's death was just the beginning, said Marvin Bethea, 46, a former paramedic who said he now takes 15 medications to deal with what he described as the physical and psychological ailments from working at the trade center site.

    "There will be more sick survivors, heroes and private citizens if government doesn't act upon our cries," he said.

    The issue of when to pay benefits, or acknowledge 9/11-related illnesses, has been contentious since the initial days after the attack when the Environmental Protection Agency said the air at ground zero was safe to breathe. Later, studies by doctors and surveys of those who became sick questioned that conclusion.

    More recently, the city's workers' compensation program has come under scrutiny for strictly enforcing a September 2003 deadline for filing requests for benefits. In the most high profile case, Rudy Washington, a former deputy mayor, had his initial claim challenged by the city, and then appealed by city lawyers after a judge granted him health care benefits for lung and throat problems related to ground zero.

    Last month, Mr. Bloomberg asked the city to settle the case. But at the rally, Mr. Washington's case was described as a sign of larger problems.

    "You shouldn't have to be a deputy mayor to get justice," said Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing, a Manhattan Democrat.

    More than $100 million has been set aside for the screening and treatment of ground zero workers, but Representative Maloney and others said that money was not nearly enough to screen tens of thousands of workers for decades and to guarantee benefits and treatment.

    "You have to do the right thing," said Mr. Zadroga, a former police chief in North Arlington, N.J. "You have to take care of these people."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #44
    AuGmENTor Guest
    One of my worst memories of being down there is the damndest thing: It was like 9/14. People were walking all over just below Houston St. trying to get as close as they could. And I saw this couple walking with a stroller. They were wearing masks, just dust masks. And the toddler in the stroller wasn't. I couldn't believe my eyes. Man, I almost ran over and decked the guy, I just got so mad... Don't know why that stupid memory is stuck in my brain. But, anyway....

  5. #45
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by AuGmENTor
    One of my worst memories of being down there is the damndest thing: It was like 9/14. People were walking all over just below Houston St. trying to get as close as they could. And I saw this couple walking with a stroller. They were wearing masks, just dust masks. And the toddler in the stroller wasn't. I couldn't believe my eyes. Man, I almost ran over and decked the guy, I just got so mad... Don't know why that stupid memory is stuck in my brain. But, anyway....
    Upon looking at this, I can't believe I said that was one of my worst memories... I must be tired. That week was like a surrealistic nightmare, but for some reason that one thing stuck out in my head, a brain worm I call it.

  6. #46
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    Thousands claim exposure in 9/11 aftermath

    http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/p...79/1027/NEWS11

    By SHAWN COHEN AND JAKE SHERMAN
    (Original publication: June 22, 2006)

    David Worby is now at the helm of what he calls the largest and most important class-action lawsuit in U.S. history, representing thousands of people he says are dying at an accelerated pace from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.

    He says a national health emergency should be declared because his 8,000 clients are developing cancer, kidney and respiratory ailments in the nearly five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The big question: To what extent is this true?

    The answer: No one really knows because Worby hasn't shared medical proof, and that's why even the government's 9/11 health coordinator recently stopped by his White Plains penthouse office to see what he's got.

    The fact is that no one has done a comprehensive study of the health consequences on an estimated 75,000 police, firefighters and construction workers who responded to the World Trade Center site — and Worby has stepped into the vacuum.

    "You're looking at the system," Worby said. "I'm it."

    He has sued New York City and its contractors, who oversaw the rescue and cleanup, claiming they failed to protect workers from cancer-causing benzene and other hazardous chemicals that filled the air. Worby returns today to a federal court in Manhattan, where the defense will argue for a dismissal on the grounds that the city made a "good faith" effort to safeguard workers by providing them equipment, such as masks, and trying to ensure they used it.

    The city's lawyers also claim that New York is legally immune from liability while providing services during an attack on U.S. soil.

    Worby says the city should have shut down the operation, and declared it a hazardous waste site, immediately after it was clear no survivors would be found. Instead, workers remained there for months, forming bucket brigades that cleared debris and searched the smoking rubble for bodies.

    He has thousands of clients saying they basically fended for themselves the first few days, then were given masks with filters that were later replaced because they were deemed insufficient to block out all the toxins.

    It was 20 months after the attacks that Worby's first two clients — NYPD detectives John Walcott of Pomona and Richard Volpe of Mount Kisco — walked into his office to report they were suffering life-threatening conditions.

    Both men arrived at Ground Zero shortly after the towers came crashing down. They searched the pile for survivors the first few days as part of the bucket brigade, wearing nothing more than surgical masks. They spent the next several months recovering body fragments, volunteering on days off. They felt so strongly about the mission that they braved the conditions, even as they began coughing up blood and black soot.

    "I thought this could be doing something to my body, but at the same time, I was thinking it's my job and that they wouldn't put me in a dangerous situation like that," Volpe, 38, said.

    "I was told everything was safe," Walcott, 41, said.

    A married father with a newborn child, Walcott became increasingly sluggish in the ensuing months. He attributed it to having to wake up early to coach hockey at Fox Lane High School.

    In May 2003, he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and told he would be dead in a week without treatment. So he began five months of chemotherapy and had a stem-cell transplant.

    Told his cancer likely resulted from his exposure to benzene at Ground Zero, he also went in search of an attorney. He and Volpe — who is suffering kidney failure — contacted two attorneys whose fees were too high, before finding Worby.

    'A voice to 9/11 heroes'
    Worby, a 53-year-old Bedford resident, already was one of the region's most successful personal injury lawyers, an outspoken advocate who set a Westchester and Putnam county record in 1989 by securing $18 million for a construction worker hit by a car on the Hutchinson River Parkway. He's also a composer, playwright, author, producer and TV writer, according to his Web site. Ice-T and Snoop Dogg, whom Worby calls "unrelated brothers," will star in one of his screenplays that begins shooting in the fall.

    He came out of semiretirement to file the suit in September 2004.

    Initially, his lawsuit got little attention, partly because few took him seriously, including the news media he was courting. But his client list kept growing, largely by word of mouth. Walcott and Volpe, for their part, have referred several people with whom they worked at the World Trade Center site.

    Although Worby has only met a couple of hundred of his clients, he now has more than a dozen lawyers working full time on the case and a team of medical consultants. His profile has grown to the point that media and politicians are now seeking him out.

    "David Worby has given a voice to 9/11 heroes who would otherwise be suffering in silence," said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who has met Worby to discuss his suit and her fight for a greater government response to the health concerns. "Because our government has basically abandoned these workers, advocates like Mr. Worby have had to intervene on their behalf."

    This month, he's sat down with everyone from The New York Times to "60 Minutes," declaring that 57 of his clients have already died from 9/11 causes, including two this week.

    "I predicted two years ago that I would have hundreds of people dying and nobody listened," he said. "I have 300 people dying of cancer in the next few months. We're just now entering the latency period for these toxins."

    But as with most of the sickness and deaths, he won't disclose names or evidence linking the illnesses to 9/11, citing privacy concerns. He referred The Journal News to one doctor who is assisting his case, but that person did not return repeated calls.

    "All you people in the media are torturing me," Worby said. "You say, 'Give me doctors, give me scientists.' Find your own scientists. Challenge me."

    He has no medical degree, though one of his consultants dubbed him a "brown-shoe epidemiologist."

    The reality is one of the deaths formally linked to 9/11 recovery work was NYPD Detective James Zadroga of New Jersey, whose autopsy found he died from respiratory failure caused by exposure to toxic dust.

    Some experts say the types of cancer Worby's reporting typically wouldn't occur for at least 10 years after exposure but note it could be hastened by the extreme level of toxins at Ground Zero.

    "It's a very sad commentary that a lawyer working on his own knows more about the health of people who were exposed to 9/11 hazards than the government, which has a responsibility to protect the public health," said Jonathan Bennett, spokesman for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.

    'Reason to be concerned'
    The federal government did set up a health registry in 2003 for lower Manhattan residents, workers and rescue personnel. But while 71,000 people participated, the program has come under fire because it gave no medical testing, care or referrals.

    Under one federal program, Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City has screened about 16,000 World Trade Center responders and treated 1,800 people, though the treatment has a 16-week wait list.

    Dr. Robin Herbert, the program's co-director, said "at least a few" of them have developed cancer, although doctors haven't studied whether they're linked to Sept. 11.

    "We are not near the point where we can say anything scientific about the cancer rates among our population," Herbert said.

    "The programs we're operating were not funded to specifically track nor identify deaths among WTC responders," she added.

    She refused to comment on the suit but said screeners at Mount Sinai have been "badly surprised by the persistence of our patients' WTC-related illnesses."

    "We do know there were various cancer-causing agents in the environment, and I think there is certainly reason to be concerned and to watch this group very carefully," she said.

    Worby has not declared how much money his suit will seek but said that his priority is getting the government to address the crisis facing his clients and others.

    "This is a mission, this is not a case," he said. "I've never seen anything like this in my life. It has nothing to do with being a lawyer. It has everything to do with understanding the medical catastrophe and helping people."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #47
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    Lawsuit says poisons killed 57 at WTC site

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/sto...p-361877c.html

    BY THOMAS ZAMBITO
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    6/23/2006

    Fifty-seven Ground Zero workers have died and thousands of others have been sickened by exposure to a noxious mix of chemicals released when the World Trade Center was reduced to smoldering rubble, their lawyer said yesterday.
    But in a courtroom blocks from the site, the city denied responsibility, saying its contractors were acting in the nation's defense as they worked to restore Ground Zero in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    "The city and the contractors stepped up to the plate on 9/11 and worked 24/7 until the job was done," city attorney James Tyrrell told Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein. "They jumped in, no questions asked, and did their duty."

    The city is trying to beat back a class-action lawsuit filed by some 8,000 workers and the families of the dead who claim the city, in its haste to clear the site, exposed them to dangerous levels of asbestos, lead and other toxins.

    Dozens have died from cancers accelerated by respiratory diseases brought on by their work at Ground Zero, said David Worby, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs. The sick include firefighters, cops, construction workers and other emergency personnel.

    Tyrrell argued that the city should be shielded from negligence claims because it was in the midst of a national emergency that demanded a "robust" response.

    But Worby said Ground Zero ceased being an emergency site in the days after the attacks when Bush administration officials declared air quality at Ground Zero safe.

    "At a certain point, the emergency ends and the regular rules have to apply," Worby said. "The tragedy is this is only the beginning [of the number of] the people who are sick and dying."

    Hellerstein questioned Tyrrell about the "prolonged nature" of an "emergency" cleanup that lasted eight months.

    The city, together with the Port Authority and several other defendants, will continue making its case before Hellerstein today.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #48
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    9/11 Suit Tests New York Stand on Immunity

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/23/ny...=1&oref=slogin

    By ANTHONY DePALMA
    Published: June 23, 2006

    A federal judge heard oral arguments yesterday on the city's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 8,000 firefighters, police officers and construction workers who say they were harmed by exposure to toxic substances while working at ground zero.

    The city's lawyers have argued that the city cannot be sued because it has legal immunity under a state civil defense law.

    During the hearing, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of United States District Court in Manhattan focused on how long after Sept. 11 the legal immunity claimed by the city lasted and whether the $1 billion federal insurance fund that has been set aside to cover such claims against the city could be considered evidence that it could, in fact, be sued.

    The questions are crucial to determining whether the responders and other workers can seek damages from the city and 150 private contractors for ailments they say they suffered as a result of the work they did downtown in the nine months after the twin towers collapsed.

    Lawyers representing the workers argue that after the first two weeks the city was guilty of an "inexcusable violation of basic safety laws" because it did not ensure that the workers had proper protective equipment, like half-face respirators, and the training to use them.

    They also argue that Congress would never have established a $1 billion insurance fund in 2003 if it believed that the city was immune from negligence lawsuits. The money came from the $20 billion recovery package approved by Congress following the attack.

    "The city is not going to pay a dime out of its own pocket" if the injured workers are allowed to sue, said Kevin K. Russell, a Washington-based lawyer with Howe & Russell, who represented the workers in yesterday's proceedings.

    James E. Tyrrell Jr., a lawyer with the Washington-based firm Patton Boggs, representing the city yesterday, acknowledged in court that the city had asked Congress to create the $1 billion fund in case questions about liability jeopardized the city's fiscal future. He said that if the money was not used to cover such claims it would be available to help the city pay for other expenses related to Sept. 11.

    Judge Hellerstein noted from the bench that the federal insurance fund's existence was not necessarily an admission by Congress that the city could be sued, a point with which the city's lawyers agreed.

    However, at several points in the proceedings Judge Hellerstein did raise questions about the extent of the city's immunity under the State Defense Emergency Act. The act, a piece of cold war civil defense legislation, was originally intended to protect cities and private contractors from negligence lawsuits after they respond to a foreign attack.

    The judge asked whether the city's immunity under state law continued through the long period of cleanup. "In considering this situation, maybe the immunity was less and the duty was more over the long period of cleaning up the debris," Judge Hellerstein said, referring to the duty of the city and its contractors to ensure worker safety after it became clear, within two weeks of the attack, that there were no more survivors to be rescued.

    Mr. Tyrrell, the city's lawyer, argued that the legal immunity began on Sept. 11 and continued for nine months. He said the city's emergency declaration was renewed every five days as required by law and did not end until June 30, 2002, when the cleanup was considered complete.

    Lawyers representing the workers assert that in the nearly five years since the attack, more than 300 responders have gotten cancer and thousands of others have become sick from a variety of respiratory ailments and other diseases that they say are linked to toxins released by the towers' collapse and the fires that burned for months afterward.

    The city says that more than 200,000 respirators were distributed to workers at ground zero. But there were conflicting statements at the time from government officials about the safety of the air downtown and whether wearing the protective masks was mandatory. Some workers said they took off the masks when they became uncomfortable or when they made communicating with other workers difficult.

    Several health studies have shown that a high percentage of workers exposed to ground zero dust and smoke have complained of respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. Fire Department studies also have shown that firefighters suffered a substantial loss of breathing capacity. And at least one death, that of Detective James Zadroga earlier this year, has been formally connected to ground zero dust by a medical examiner.

    The city has argued that it will be handicapped in responding to any future disasters if the possibility of negligence lawsuits is left hanging over its head. It also says that injured workers can now receive workers' compensation and free medical treatment.

    Lawyers for the workers are similarly concerned about the future, and whether responders to new disasters would be properly protected. They also say that the workers' compensation system is difficult to navigate and that many workers are left with few, if any, options for receiving medical treatment.

    The hearing on the city's motion to dismiss the lawsuit will continue on Monday.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #49
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    9/11 responders speak of pain

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/lo...04,print.story

    BY ANDREW STRICKLER
    STAFF WRITER; Staff writer Erik German contributed to this story.
    June 26, 2006

    David Miller coughed into a napkin, leaving behind a quarter-sized smear of blood.

    The hacking is a constant reminder of the 10 days the National Guardsman spent clearing debris at Ground Zero.

    Forty-eight hours after he arrived in the smoking aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack, Miller said yesterday, the health effects from airborne debris were obvious and severe.

    "I was practically blind, I was coughing, I had blisters all up and down my arms," he said. "If I'd been smart I wouldn't have gone back."

    Today, Miller's health is crumbling. The 39-year-old Bronx construction worker said he suffers chronic lung infections, skin rashes and a 60 percent drop in lung capacity.

    Miller and several other 9/11 first responders spoke yesterday about lingering health problems at The Community Church of New York on East 35th Street in Manhattan. The forum is part of a series of lectures, films and public protests organized by the nonprofit group New York 9/11 Truth. The organization accuses the government of covering up intelligence failures leading to the attacks and allowing first responders to work in toxic conditions at Ground Zero, among other charges.

    The event came just days after a U.S. Federal Court judge in Manhattan heard a pretrial motion in an ongoing lawsuit against the City of New York brought by more than 8,000 police officers, firefighters and others claiming their health was harmed by exposure to toxic materials at Ground Zero. The city has moved to dismiss the suit, arguing it has legal immunity.

    Yesterday's panel included several first responders who related their experiences at the site following the attack on the World Trade Center, as well as the long-term health problems they say resulted from breathing toxins at Ground Zero.

    In addition to these failures, many spoke of lingering psychological effects. Kevin McPadden, a former Air Force medic, said he came to the rubble pile alone on Sept. 11 and spent the next four days searching nearby buildings for bodies and survivors.

    He said he continues to struggle with depression and anger stemming from his days of working at Ground Zero. Since Sept. 11 he said he's had trouble keeping a job. "Every day is a challenge," he said. "I really don't feel alive. I'm a very bitter man."

    In addition to first responders, the panel included Janette MacKinlay, author of a book describing her 9/11 experiences, who lived across the street from the World Trade Center. MacKinlay was home on the morning of Sept. 11 and she said the windows of her home were blown in when the towers collapsed.

    MacKinlay sharply criticized what she called the government's failure to address health problems of first responders. "This injustice has become part of the grief and trauma of 9/11," she said.

    Event organizer Les Jamieson said the forum's purpose was to raise awareness of health problems and other issues associated with working at Ground Zero.

    "Many people who breathed that air, they won't get sick until eight, 10 years later," he said. "This story is just beginning to unfold."

    Jamieson also said the event was an opportunity for people who felt they should have been compensated under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to have their stories told.

    "We're not just talking about health here. There are serious financial and psychological issues as well, and a lot of people are being left out in the cold," he said.

    Staff writer Erik German contributed to this story.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 recovery workers: ‘Gov’t deceived, abandoned us’

    http://www.workers.org/2006/us/911-0706/

    By Deirdre Griswold
    Published Jul 3, 2006 3:36 PM

    Millionaire Christine Todd Whitman, the Bush appointee who used to head the Environmental Protection Agency, said exactly one week after the collapse of the Twin Towers, “I’m glad to reassure the people of New York that their air is safe to breathe.”

    Capitalist politicians, from President George W. Bush to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, put on hard hats for the cameras and praised the “first responders,” calling them heroes and offering all their support.

    But today, thousands of those who worked at ground zero after the buildings collapsed are furious at the government, which they charge deceived and abandoned them.

    This June 17, some 200 held a rally at the site to demand comprehensive health care for all those sickened by the work there after the disaster. “Many of the two dozen or so people who spoke at the event, including former recovery workers and their families, said that top federal, state and local officials seemed to be focusing on 9/11 memorials while workers who untangled the gnarled debris at ground zero continued to face red tape, resistance and skepticism over their claims.” (New York Times, June 18)

    Like U.S. soldiers sickened by the Pentagon’s use of Agent Orange and depleted uranium in its wars for empire, these workers—whose health is failing after breathing in the toxic dust left by the towers’ collapse—are being treated as malingerers by a capitalist government that spends hundreds of billions each year for war and for state repression at home but has cut essential services.

    Many former recovery workers who are too sick to labor now find themselves unemployed and joining the 45 million people in this country without health care.

    A special program for 9/11 responders set up at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan has seen about 15,000 people since 2002, according to Dr. Robin Herbert. Almost five years after the collapse, it is still getting 100 new cases each month. So many are applying that there’s now a three-to-four-month backup. As of early this year, the program had received not one penny of government funds.

    In January, WABC-TV Eyewitness News reported on the death of Chris Pellegrino, a cable installer who had worked at ground zero for months. He died of lung illness at age 42 after developing “World Trade Center cough.” The number of responders and recovery workers who have died, some in the prime of life, is now well over 30. Just one attorney, David Worby, said in January that 21 of his clients had died of Sept. 11-related diseases since mid-2004. (Associated Press, Jan. 18)

    It took the death of a police detective, 34-year-old James Zadroga, for the state to finally acknowledge the link between breathing in the toxic dust and fatal lung disease. Zadroga’s father said at the rally, however, that doctors and Police Depart ment officials had ignored his son’s sickness until it was too late.

    Doctors at Mount Sinai say they’re now seeing more cases of the severe lung scarring that killed Zadroga. (Newsday, June 1) They also report that cancers of the blood, kidney and pancreas are appearing among this group at a rate much higher than in the general population.

    After 9/11, Congress rushed to pass the Patriot Act, which has turned into a huge boondoggle for big business. (See accompanying article, p. 10.) But when it comes to allocating tax money for a real public health program that would end the crisis in health care, these servants of capital run the other way.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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