9/11 RESPONDERS NEED HELP

March 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

The families of 9/11 first responders, and the activists who support them, are facing more funerals and potentially no funding for the brave men and women who became gravely ill after working at the World Trade Center after the attacks on 9/11. They recently came back after an appeal on Capitol Hill. Find out why they’re still fighting.

For more information on NYC’s 9/11 First Responders and victims, and to learn how you can support them, visit The FealGood Foundation, or The Ray Pfeifer Foundation.

Aired on March 18, 2019.

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>>> SEPTEMBER 11th VICTIMS
COMPENSATION FUND SET ASIDE FOR
THE SOME 45,000 FIRST RESPONDERS
AND THEIR SURVIVORS WHO ARE NOW
SUFFERING FROM RESPIRATORY
ILLNESSES AND RARE CANCERS IS
RAPIDLY RUNG OUT OF MONEY.
THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO
WORKED AT THE PIT IN THE DAYS
AND MONTHS FOLLOWING THE TERROR
ATTACK ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.
THERE IS HOPE FOR MR. FUNDS TO
BE AVAILABLE.
A NEW BIPARTISAN BILL CALLED
NEVER FORGET THE HEROES ACT WAS
RECENTLY INTRODUCED.
IT WOULD, IF PASSED, REPLENISH
THE FUND.
THE QUESTION IS WILL IT PASS THE
HOUSE AND THE SENATE?
HUMORIST AND ACTIVIST JON
STEWART, FIRST RESPONDER,
VICTIMS AND ADVOCATES WENT TO
WASHINGTON RECENTLY TO TAKE
THEIR CASE TO CONGRESS, AND
"METROFOCUS" WENT WITH THEM.
YOU HAVE THESE MEN AND WOMEN
WHO -- WHOSE HUMANIT ON THE
LINE.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE WITH US
NEXT TIME.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE HERE.
>> MY FATHER ACTUALLY PASSED
AWAY FROM LUNG CANCER.
IT STARTED OFF AS BLADDER CANCER
AND TURNED INTO LUNG CANCER IN
2017.
HE WAS FDNY FIRST RESPONDER.
IT BURNED THROUGH HIM IN SIX
MONTHS.
>> THE EPA SAID THERE WAS 160
TOXINS IN THE AIR THERE WAS
PULVERIZED GLASS, BENZENE.
WE DIDN'T FIND ONE COMPUTER.
WE DIDN'T FINE ONE TELEPHONE.
WE DIDN'T FIND A PIECE OF GLASS.
THE BUILDINGS WERE SHEETED IN
GLASS.
>> I WAS A STUDENT IN LOWER
MANHATTAN THAT WENT BACK LESS
THAN A MONTH AFTER THE ATTACKS
TO A CONTAMINATED BUILDING
LOCATED NEXT TO A BARGE THAT
THEY WERE BRINGING DEBRIS TO DAY
AFTER DAY AND DUMPING IT NEXT TO
OUR SCHOOL'S INTAKE SYSTEM.
JUST NOW STARTING TO SEE A SPIKE
IN SERIOUS ILLNESS AMONG OUR OU.
AND HAS HAPPENED JUST AS IT IS
ABOUT TO EXPIRE.
>> I'M THE THIRD GUY TO COME
DOWN HERE IN THIS WHEELCHAIR.
IT'S BEEN PASSED DOWN TO ME.
THE TWO PREVIOUS GUYS DIED.
>> THIS IS NOT HYSTERIC
INDIVIDUALS.
THIS IS NOT PRONE TO WOE IS ME.
THEY'RE SOME OF THE MOST
STEADFAST INDIVIDUALS THAT I
MET, AND THEY SUFFER IN A WAY
THEY SHOULDN'T BE MADE TO
SUFFER.
>> JOINING US NOW TO PROVIDE US
WITH SOME INSIGHT AND PERSONAL
PERSPECTIVES ARE ROBERT TELARSIO
AND BRIDGET GORMLEY, AND ALONG
WITH THEM ATTORNEY MICHAEL
BAYERISCHE, WHO IS REPRESENTING
FAMILIES, AND HAS BEEN FOR A
VERY LONG TIME NOW.
WELCOME TO ALL THREE OF YOU.
WE APPRECIATE TO HAVE YOU.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.
>> I WANT TO GET TO THE TWO OF
YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL STORIES IN
A MOMENT.
ROBERT, LET ME START WITH YOU.
MOST PEOPLE ARE AWARE THERE IS A
FUND IN EXISTENCE, BUT I ALSO
SUSPECT THEY PROBABLY DON'T KNOW
ITS HISTORY.
>> RIGHT.
>> GIVE ME A CAPSULIZATION IF
YOU WILL OF THE FUND'S HISTORY
AND WHERE WE ARE NOW WITH IT.
>> IN 2001, JUST A FEW DAYS
AFTER 9/11, CONGRESS PASSED THE
VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND
OFFERING COMPENSATION TO THOSE
WHO DIED IN THE PLANES AND IN
THE BUILDINGS.
THAT FUND WAS ENORMOUSLY
SUCCESSFUL, BUT IT ENDED IN
2003.
>> AND I THINK, AGAIN, THAT'S
ONE OF THE THINGS WHERE PEOPLE
PROBABLY DID NOT REALIZE YOU
WERE TALKING ABOUT A SHORT
WINDOW.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S RIGHT.
I THINK 95% OF THE PEOPLE WHO
LOST LOVEDS TOOK ADVANTAGE
OF THE FUNDS SO THEY WOULDN'T
HAVE TO GO THROUGH LITIGATION,
AND THEY GOT A FAIR AWARD FROM
THE GOVERNMENT.
I DO NEED TO GIVE YOU SOME
CONTEXT HERE.
IF YOU MAY REMEMBER, THE EPA
ASSURED EVERYONE THE AIR IS
SAFE.
THEY WANTED TO REOPEN WALL
STREET.
THEY WANTED PEOPLE TO DO THE
DEBRIS CLEANUP, AND THEY DID.
AND AS A MATTER OF FACT IN THAT
OPENING THAT YOU SHOWED, LILA
FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL NEARBY, HER
HIGH SCHOOL WAS REOPENED IN
THREE WEEKS, AND YET THEY USED
IT AS A MORGUE FOR THE THREE
WEEKS BEFORE THEY REOPENED
STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL.
MY LAW FIRM REPRESENTS 25 KIDS
FROM STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL AND
PACE UNIVERSITY WHO HAVE CANCER.
IT'S TRULY HORRIFYING.
IN ANY CASE, CONGRESS THEN DID
THE RIGHT THING.
IN 2011, THEY PASSED THE JAMES
ED ROGA HEALTH ACT.
IT WAS NAMED AFTER MY CLIENT
WHEN HE DIED OF PULMONARY
FIBROSIS, THEY FOUND IN HIS LUNG
TISSUE GROUND GLASS, ASBESTOS,
CHROMIUM, LEAD, BENZENE.
THESE ARE ALL KNOWN CARCINOGENS.
AND IN 2013, CONGRESS, FOLLOWING
THE EDICT OF NYASH LINKED 68
CANCERS TO THE TOXINS.
AND IN 2015, THEY REAUTHORIZED
THE VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND,
BUT IT IS SET TO EXPIRE AT THE
END OF 2020.
THE PROBLEM IS SO MANY PEOPLE
LIKE THEIR FATHERS HAVE BEEN
GETTING CANCER AND DIEING THAT
THEY ARE SIMPLY RUNG OUT OF
MONEY.
>> I WANT TO COME BACK TO YOU IN
A MINUTE AND TALK TO YOU ABOUT
WHY THERE HAS BEEN SUCH A
SIGNIFICANT UPTICK AND WHAT
WE'RE FINDING IN TERMS OF THE
MEDICAL CONDITION.
LET ME TALK TO THE TWO OF YOU.
BRIDGET, YOU FIRST.
THIS IS ALL ABOUT FAMILY
MEMBERS.
IT'S ALL ABOUT FRIENDS.
IT'S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE
SUFFERED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF
THIS.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FATHER.
>> MY FATHER WAS -- HIS NAME WAS
BILLY GORMLEY, AND HE WAS A
FIRST RESPONDER FIREFIGHTER
FDNY.
AND HIS COMPANY WAS FIRST TO
ARRIVE RIGHT AFTER THE TOWERS
HAD FELL.
HE WENT INTO THE THICK OF IT.
HE WENT DOWN THERE ON 9/11 AND
STAYED THERE UNTIL ABOUT
CHRISTMAS TIME WITH THE CLEANUP.
I DIDN'T SEE HIM VERY OFTEN.
HE CAME HOME, SHOWERED, SLEPT,
WENT BACK.
I SAW WHAT HE WAS COVERED IN.
AND THE SMELL OF IT.
>> BUT NEVER ANY RESERVATION
ABOUT GOING BACK?
>> NO, NO RESERVATION.
KNOWING WHAT HE WENT THROUGH,
HINGE WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
I THINK A LOT OF GUYS WOULD.
>> AND TELL ME ABOUT HIS
DIAGNOSIS.
>> HE WAS DIAGNOSED CHRISTMAS
2016 WITH BLADDER CANCER, AND HE
WENT THE COURSE OF TREATMENT
FROM JANUARY TO APRIL, AND THEN
IN MAY HE GOT REALLY SICK AND IN
JUNE PASSED AWAY, AN ASTONISHING
FAST.
>> IT BURNED THROUGH HIM VERY
QUICKLY, YEAH, IN SIX MONTHS.
>> ROB, HOW ABOUT YOU.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAD.
>> MY FATHER WAS A FIREFIGHTER
ALSO.
HE WAS FROM ENGINE 266 IN
ROCKAWAY BEACH, AND HE RESPONDED
TO GROUND ZERO ON 9/11 AS WELL.
AND WHEN HE RESPONDED THAT DAY,
HE NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE,
YOU KNOW -- IT WOULD AFFECT HIM
YEARS DOWN THE LINE, 10, 20
YEARS DOWN THE LINE.
MY FATHER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH
BRAIN CANCER IN THE SPRING OF
2015, AND THEN HE PASSED AWAY IN
THE FALL OF 2017, OCTOBER 25th.
AND HE WAS 58 YEARS OLD.
SO HE WAS A HEALTHY GUY, AND YOU
NEVER THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, THAT
SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD
HAPPEN, BUT THEN WHEN YOU LOOK
BACK, AND YOU REALIZE THAT HE
WAS ON THE PILE FOR SO MANY
WEEKS AND MONTHS AFTER 9/11,
THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE PROPER
RESPIRATOR OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT
FOR ASBESTOS AND LEAD AND ALL
THE OTHER PULVERIZED STUFF IN
THE AIR.
>> AND SADLY, IT TOOK HIS LIFE,
YOU KNOW.
>> MICHAEL, LET ME COME BACK TO
YOU NOW.
TALK ABOUT THE FUND RUNNING OUT
OF MONEY.
AND SOME FOLKS MIGHT SAY, WELL,
WE'RE GETTING NOW -- WE'RE
GETTING CLOSE TO 20 YEARS SINCE
THAT HORRIBLE DAY AND THE
HORRIBLE CONSEQUENCES.
AND THEY MIGHT SAY WHY ARE THERE
MORE CLAIMANTS SHOWING UP NOW?
WHAT'S THE ANSWER TO THAT?
>> WELL, THE DOCTORS ARE NOT
SURPRISED.
WE AS LAY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED,
BUT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, AND
I'M SURE YOU WERE DOWN THERE TOO
COVERING THE STORY, JACK, THE
SMELL, AS BRIDGET SAID, IT
WREAKED DOWN THERE.
AND NOT WITHSTANDING WHAT THE
EPA SAID ABOUT THE AIR BEING
SAFE.
WE KNEW IT WASN'T SAFE.
BUT THEY WANTED TO REOPPEN WALL
STREET.
SO MY LAW FIRM REOPENED.
THEY WANTED TO REOPEN THE HIGH
SCHOOLS AND EVERYBODY TO SHOW
EVERYBODY WE'RE GOING AROUND ALL
THIS.
WE'RE GOING GET THROUGH THIS.
WE'RE BACK TO NORMAL.
WELL, THE DOCTORS ARE SEEING
EXACTLY WHAT THEY EXPECTED NOW
WHICH ARE NOT ONLY CANCERS, BUT
CANCERS ON STEROIDS, REALLY RARE
AGGRESSIVE CANCERS AND PEOPLE
WHO HAVE MULTIPLE CANCERS.
AND THAT'S WHY NOT A DAY GOES BY
WITHOUT ONE OF MY CLIENTS
PASSING AWAY.
IT'S THAT SERIOUS.
AND AS A RESULT, THE FUND, WHICH
REALLY HAS BEEN OPERATING VERY,
VERY WELL, THEY JUST DON'T HAVE
ENOUGH MONEY.
AND THAT'S WHY THEY RECENTLY
ANNOUNCED THESE CUTS OF 50 AND
70%, WHICH IS SO UNFAIR, BUT I
UNDERSTAND IT.
THEY'VE GOT TO MAKE THESE FUNDS
LAST.
BUT THAT'S WHY WE WERE IN
WASHINGTON.
IT'S WHY WE'RE GOING BACK TO
WASHINGTON, BECAUSE WE'VE GOT TO
CONVINCE CONGRESS TO DO THE
RIGHT THING AND FULL ITS MORAL
OBLIGATION AND PASS AND EXTEND
THIS FUND.
>> I WANT TO GET TO THE BILL IN
A SECOND.
I WANT ALL YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT.
LET ME COME BECOME TO SOMETHING
THAT YOU MENTIONED, AND THAT IS
THE DOCTORS UNDERSTAND THIS, AT
LEAST NOW.
WHAT PEOPLE WERE NOT REALIZING
IS EVERYTHING THAT HAD IN THE
AIR, EVERYTHING THAT WAS
INCINERATED IN THE BUILDINGS WAS
IN THE AIR.
>> THEY DIDN'T FIND ONE PHONE OR
ONE COMPUTER.
THEY ONLY FOUND 1/3 OF THE
PEOPLE.
ALL THAT STUFF, AS ROB SAID, WAS
PULVERIZED.
SO PEOPLE WERE BREATHING THIS
TOXIC DUST THAT HAD THE PH LEVEL
OF DRANO.
THAT'S WHY WE'RE SEEING SKIN
CANCER ELEVATED 33% COMPARED TO
PRE-9/11.
WE'RE SEEING RAMPANT BREAST
CANCER AMONG WOMEN AND PROSTATE
CANCER AMONG MEN.
AND AS I MENTIONED, 68 CANCERS
ALL TOGETHER, PLUS MANY
RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS.
>> IS THERE RESISTANCE, AT LEAST
INITIALLY TO INCLUDING ALL OF
THESE?
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT 68 CANCER,
SOME PROBABLY HAVE NEVER BEEN
SEEN IN RECENT THERE RESISTANC
INITIALLY TO SAYING TO PEOPLE,
OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO RECOGNIZE
THAT THAT'S A CONSEQUENCE OF
THIS, AND WE ARE GOING TO BRING
YOU INTO OUR FOLD.
>> AT THE BEGINNING, NO CANCERS
WERE LINKED.
AT THE BEGINNING THEY SAID IT'S
JUST GOING TO BE RESPIRATORY
PROBLEMS, REACTIVE AIRWAY
DISEASE, ASTHMA, SLEEP APNEA.
BUT THEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
MEDICAL OFFICE BEGAN TO SEE THIS
BIG UPTICK, BETWEEN 19% AND 32%
IN ALL THESE CANCERS.
AND THAT WAS THE EVIDENCE THAT
NYASH NEEDED.
AND FINALLY IN TUITION AND '14,
THAT'S WHEN THEY ADDED THE
CANCERS.
>> TYPICAL ME ABOUT THE
LEGISLATION.
>> IT WOULD FUND THE VICTIM
COMPENSATION FUND FOR THE REST
OF EVERYBODY'S LIFE.
SO IF AND WHEN PEOPLE GET
CANCERS IN THE FUTURE, THEY WILL
BE COVERED.
IF THEY LOSE THEIR CAREER
BECAUSE THEY CAN'T WORK AS A
RESULT OF THEIR CANCER, THEY
WILL BE COVERED.
IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
>> SO NO CEILING?
>> NO ENDING AT ALL.
RIGHT NOW THE HEALTH PROGRAM HAS
BEEN RIGHTFULLY EXTENDED TO THE
REST OF EVERYBODY'S LIFE.
WHY SHOULDN'T THE VICTIM
COMPENSATION FUND?
>> TALK ABOUT THE VISIT DOWN TO
WASHINGTON.
BRIDGET, YOU FIRST.
WHAT WERE YOU ALL HOPING TO
ACCOMPLISH?
AND WHAT DID YOU EXPERIENCE DOWN
THERE?
>> I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST
ISSUES FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE
OUTSIDE OF THE TRI-STATE AREA IS
THEY THINK IT'S A NEW PROBLEM.
YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM
THAT -- YOU TO TELL THEM THAT
THEY HAVE X AMOUNT OF PEOPLE IN
THEIR DISTRICT THAT ARE IN THE
PROGRAM.
>> ARE THEY SURPRISED SOMETIMES?
>> SOMETIMES THEY ARE.
>> I THINK I SAW A STATISTIC.
I MIGHT BE WRONG, BUT THAT ARE
SOME VICTIM IN EVERY
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT EXCEPT
ONE IN THE UNITED STATES.
>> WE DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE IT
IS.
BUT THAT'S IMPRESSIVE.
NOT IMPRESSIVE, IT SPEAKS FOR
ITSELF.
SO IT'S A NATIONAL ISSUE.
I THINK YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE
THEM OF THAT.
AND THESE PEOPLE ALSO, THESE
POLITICIANS, THEY ARE THE
BIGGEST FLAG WAVERS SOMETIMES,
NEVER FORGET, POSTING AND
TWEETING.
>> ESPECIALLY ON 9/11, POSTING
AND TWEETING.
AND WHEN YOU GO IN THERE LOOK
FOR HELP, THEY CAN FORGET.
>> IT'S SAD YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO
DOWN THERE.
MY FATHER, HE TOOK ABOUT A DOZEN
TRIPS DOWN TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
HIMSELF BEFORE HE WAS EVEN SICK.
AND THE LAST FEW TIMES WERE IN A
WHEELCHAIR THAT HE WENT DOWN
THERE.
JUST THE FACT THAT HE HAS TO GO
DOWN THERE WITH THE TERMINAL
CANCER TO CONVINCE CONGRESSMEN
TO EXTEND THIS BILL, IT'S SO
DISHEARTENING.
WE SAW A GUY THAT HAD LESS THAN
SIX MONTHS TO LIVE THAT WAS DOWN
THERE WITH A TERMINAL CANCER
BASICALLY THAT WAS IN D.C. LAST
TIME.
YOU KNOW, IF THAT DOESN'T SPEAK
TO ITSELF, I MEAN, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT ELSE COULD.
THE FACT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO GO
DOWN THERE AND FIGHT FOR THEIR
BENEFITS TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR
FAMILIES WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF,
YOU KNOW, AS MY FAMILY HAS A
PENDING CLAIM, MANY OTHER PEOPLE
HAVE PENDING CLAIMS THAT ARE NOW
CUT IN HALF OR WILL RECEIVE ONLY
30% OF WHAT OTHER FAMILIES DID.
AND IT'S JUST NOT FAIR, YOU
KNOW.
THE GOVERNMENT SET UP THIS FUND
SO PEOPLE WOULD NOT BRING FORTH
LAWSUITS.
HERE THEY ARE, IT'S A SLAP IN
THE FACE THAT YOU'RE ONLY GOING
TO GET 30 OR 50%.
AND, YOU KNOW, THERE IS NO
AMOUNT OF MONEY AT THE END OF
THE DAY THAT WILL BRING MY
FATHER BACK, BUT, YOU KNOW, JUST
KNOWING THAT MY FAMILY IS TAKEN
CARE OF IS WHAT MATTERS MOST.
AND WHAT MY FATHER WOULD WANT TO
SEE.
>> DID YOU FIND, BRIDGET, IN
TALKING WITH THESE FOLKS, AND
AGAIN, WE'VE HEARD SOME PEOPLE
THINK IT'S SORT OF A REGIONAL
ISSUE, AS OPPOSED TO A NATIONAL
ISSUE.
DID YOU FIND YOU WERE ABLE TO
CHANGE MINDS?
>> YEAH, BUT IT TOOK MORE
SHAMING THAN I THOUGHT WAS
NECESSARY.
>> REALLY?
>> YEAH, A LITTLE BIT.
YOU GOT TO BACK THEM INTO A
CORNER.
>> AND THAT IS NOT A DEMOCRAT OR
REPUBLICAN ISSUE.
>> OH, NO.
>> THIS WAS INCREDIBLY
DEMOCRATIC TOXIC DUST.
IT DOESN'T CARE IF YOU WERE
WHITE, BLACK, JEWISH, CATHOLIC.
>> REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT.
>> EVERYBODY WAS EX-SPOEDE
SUPPOSED.
THE GOVERNMENT LIED US TO AT
FIRST.
THEN THEY DID THE RIGHT THING
AND MADE US A PLEDGE.
WE'RE ASKING JUST FULFILL THAT
PLEDGE AND TAKE CARE OF THESE
FAMILIES.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
PROSPECTS ARE?
>> I THINK THEY'RE GOOD.
I DON'T KNOW HOW ANY POLITICIAN
CAN LOOK IN THE MIRROR AFTER
MEETING KIDS LIKE THIS OR YOUNG
ADULTS AND TELL OUR FIRST
RESPONDERS, HEY, WE MADE YOU A
PROMISE, AND NOW WE'RE BREAKING
THAT PROMISE.
I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO DO THE
RIGHT THING, LIKE THEY DID IN
2011 AND AGAIN IN 2015.
>> WHEN DO YOU THINK THAT THESE
MIGHT COME UP?
>> I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO COME
UP RIGHT AFTER THIS SEPTEMBER
11th, PROBABLY IN EARLY OCTOBER,
AND I THINK IT WILL PASS THEN.
AND I'M CERTAINLY GOING TO FIGHT
TO MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS.
CIRCUM
>> IS IT YOUR SENSE ALSO?
>> CURRENTLY OVER 150
CO-SPONSORS IN THE HOUSE, AND
THERE IS ABOUT 20-SOMETHING
CO-SPONSORS WITHIN THE SENATE.
AND WHERE IT'S REALLY GOING TO
MATTER IS THE SENATE, IT WOULD
BE NICE TO SEE IF THESE 60
CO-SPONSORS WITH THE SENATE AND
WHY WE HAVE TO GO BACK.
>> YOU KNOW, ONE ADVANTAGE WE
HAVE, WE HAVE SO MANY CLIENT, SO
MANY RESPONDERS WHO LIVE IN
NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA,
GEORGIA, FLORIDA, WHERE THEY
HAVE ALL REPUBLICAN SENATORS,
AND BASICALLY, JON STEWART SAID,
WE NEED 11 MORE REPUBLICAN
SENATORS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
AND I'M GOING USE MY CLIENTS WHO
LIVE IN THOSE STATES TO BE
CALLING THEIR LEGISLATORS AND
SAYING HEY, I'M A CONSTITUENT.
I NEED YOUR HELP.
THIS IS NOT A NEW YORK ISSUE.
>> WE TALK A LITTLE BIT --
BRIDGET, YOU'VE BEEN WORKING ON
IT.
>> INSURANCE LIKE AN ANALOGY TO
MY FATHER.
THE THING IS WITH 9/11,
ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE LIKE US,
WHEN OUR FATHERS CAME HOME, WE
WERE THE LUCKY ONES.
YOU HAVE THIS ISSUE OF SURVIVORS
TURNING INTO VICTIMS TWO DECADES
LATER.
SOY DIDN'T REALIZE THE EXTENT OF
HOW BAD IT WAS UNTIL MY FATHER
PASSED AWAY.
I WAS THROWN INTO A COMMUNITY I
DIDN'T NECESSARILY WANT TO BE
THROWN INTO.
AND EVEN THERE WAS SOMEBODY WHO
VISITED MY FATHER WHEN HE WAS IN
HOSPICE WHO WASN'T AT THE
FUNERAL AND WE REQUESTED ABOUT
IT BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE HOSPICE
HOME.
I DON'T WANT TO SAY THEY WERE
DROPPING LIKE FLIES, BUT IT WAS
KIND OF DEVASTATING TO THINK
ABOUT THAT.
SO I JUST WANTED TO DOCUMENT
THIS WHOLE LEGAL BATTLE, THE
HEALTH CRISIS, WHAT WAS DONE
WRONG, WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN
DONE, WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM
THIS.
I JUST WANT TO RESHIFT THE
MAYORTIVE A LITTLE BIT TOO,
BECAUSE IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF
WHAT HAPPENED.
IT'S WHAT IS HAPPENING.
>> AND ROB, YOU'VE ACTUALLY MADE
A LIFE DECISION IN TERMS OF WHAT
YOU'RE GOING TO DO WITH YOUR
LIFE NOW.
>> YEAH, I MEAN, I TOOK THE FIRE
DEPARTMENT TEST, FDNY TEST, AND
I ALREADY PASSED MY WRITTEN TEST
AND PHYSICAL TEST AND MEDICAL
TEST, AND I'M SET TO MAYBE ENTER
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT THIS SUMMER.
>> I WANT TO MENTION BY THE WAY
YOU TOOK THE TEST.
>> YEAH.
>> BUT YOU ALSO SCORED 18th OUT
OF 45,000.
>> I GOT 18 OUT OF 45,000.
I KNOW I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET
IN THERE.
>> WERE YOU INCLINED TO DO THAT
BEFORE YOU LOST YOUR DAD?
>> ORIGINALLY, I WAS SET TO GO
TO LAW SCHOOL, WHICH I STILL
HOPE TO FULFILL.
AND, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, WHERE MY
FATHER PASSED AN ISSUE TO MAKE
HIM PROUD.
I'M NOW GOING TO JOIN THE FIRE
DEPARTMENT.
AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT I WOULD
LIKE TO DO JUST TO GIVE BACK,
YOU KNOW.
>> MICHAEL, COME BACK TO YOU IN
TERMS OF HOW THIS BILL PLAYED
OUT.
WHEN YOU FIRST GOT INVOLVED BACK
THEN, WOULD YOU EVER HAVE
ENVISIONED THAT 20 YEARS LATER
WE WOULD STILL BE TALKING ABOUT
HOW CAN WE PROVIDE SOMETHING TO
HELP THE PEOPLE WHO WERE -- SO
MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE VICTIMS?
>> HONESTLY, I'M NOT REALLY
SURPRISED.
MY LAW FIRM IS TWO BLOCKS AWAY
FROM THE TOWERS.
I WAS THERE THE DAY THE TOWERS
STARTED COMING DOWN.
I'M ONE OF THE PEOPLE YOU SEE
RUNNING UP TOWN WHILE THE
FIREFIGHTERS ARE GOING DOWNTOWN.
AND I'M COVERED IN DUST ALSO.
SO I'M NOT SURPRISED, BECAUSE I
KNOW HOW DEADLY THESE TOXINS
ARE.
I READ.
I SEE THE DIAGNOSES EVERY SINGLE
DAY IN MY LAW FIRM.
>> I SAY THIS OFTEN, BUT NOT
OFTEN ENOUGH.
YOUR DADS ARE THE ONES WHO RUN
DIRECTLY INTO THE DANGER TO MAKE
SURE THAT THE REST OF US ARE
SAFE.
AND I'M SURE BOTH OF THEM ARE
EXTRAORDINARILY PROUD.
>> DEFINITELY, YEAH.
>> MIGHT BEL, YOU'VE DONE GREAT
WORK.
HOPEFULLY THIS IS GOING TO WORK.
>> WE'LL LET YOU KNOW.
ABSOLUTELY.
>> AND WE CAN HAVE A
CONVERSATION.
>> THANK YOU.
>> BUT THANK YOU ALL FOR
EVERYTHING THAT YOU'RE DOING.
>> THANK YOU.
>> AND FOR YOU ALL TO LEARN MORE
ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP THE 9/11
FIRST RESPONDER, VISIT US AT
"METROFOCUS".ORG.

Mutual of America PSEG

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