METROFOCUS: JUNE 12, 2019

Former host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart went to Capitol Hill and blasted members of Congress for their seeming indifference to 9/11 first responders and their families. Tonight, we take a look at his testimony and the personal stories of first responder family members in need of federal support.

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 June 12, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT 'METROFOCUS.'

JON STEWART HEADED TO CAPITOL HILL AND BLAST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FOR THEIR SEAMING INDIFFERENCE ON 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

BEHIND ME, A FILLED ROOM OF 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS.

IN FRONT OF ME, A NEARLY EMPTY CONGRESS.

SICK AND DYING, THEY BROUGHT THEMSELVES DOWN HERE TO SPEAK AND NO ONE, SHAMEFUL.

AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE COUNTRY AND A STAIN ON THIS INSTITUTION.

IN A MOMENT, JON STEWART'S TESTIMONY IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE PERSONAL STORIES OF FIRST RESPONDER MEMBERS IN NEED OF FEDERAL HELP.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> YOUR INDIFFERENCE COST THESE MEN AND WOMEN THEIR MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY.

TIME.

ON THE ONE THING THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF.

THEY RESPONDED IN FIVE SECONDS.

THEY DID THEIR JOBS.

COURAGE, GRACE, TENACITY, HUMILITY.

18 YEARS LATER, DO YOURS!

THANK YOU.

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

JON STEWART TOOK CONGRESS TO TASK TUESDAY WHERE HE BLASTED A HOUSE JUDICIARY SUB COMMITTEE FOR WHAT HE CALLED THEIR INDIFFERENCE TO THE POLITE OF 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

STEWART WAS ON CAPITOL HILL ASKING FOR AN EXTENSION OF THE SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND.

HE WAS MET WITH A NEAR EMPTY PODIUM ON MEMBERS OF CONGRESS BUT LAWMAKERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE SAID THEY SUPPORT THE BILL AND WERE MONITORING THE HEARING AMID OTHER CONGRESSIONAL BUSINESSES.

THE SUB COMMITTEE'S CHAIR ALSO NOTED THAT THE HEARING WAS NOT HELD BEFORE THE FULL HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.

THE FORMER DALY SHOW HOST UNLEASHED AN IMPASSIONED PLEA.

I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR PUTTING THIS TOGETHER.

AS I SIT HERE, I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK WHAT AN INCREDIBLE METAPHOR THIS ROOM IS FOR THE ENTIRE PROCESS THAT GETTING HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS FOR 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS HAS COME TO.

BEHIND ME, A FILLED ROOM OF 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS.

AND IN FRONT OF ME, A NEARLY EMPTY CONGRESS.

SICK AND DYING, THEY BROUGHT THEMSELVES DOWN HERE TO SPEAK.

AND NO ONE, SHAMEFUL.

AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE COUNTRY AND IT IS A STAIN ON THIS INSTITUTION.

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES FOR THOSE THAT AREN'T HERE, BUT YOU WON'T BE.

BECAUSE ACCOUNTABILITY DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE SOMETHING THAT OCCURS IN THIS CHAMBER.

WE DON'T WANT TO BE HERE.

LOU DOESN'T WANT TO BE HERE.

NONE OF THESE PEOPLE WANT TO BE HERE.

BUT THEY ARE.

AND THEY'RE NOT HERE FOR THEMSELVES.

THEY'RE HERE TO CONTINUE FIGHTING FOR WHAT'S RIGHT.

LOU WILL GO BACK FOR HIS 69th CHEMO.

HE WILL COME DOWN HERE, HIS BODY RIDDLED WITH CANCER AND PAIN WHERE HE COULDN'T WALK, AND THE DISRESPECT SHOWN TO HIM, AND TO THE OTHER LOBBYISTS SHOWN TO HIM ON THIS BILL IS UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE.

YOU KNOW, I WOULD BE SO ANGRY AT THE LATEST INJUSTICE THAT'S DONE TO THESE MEN AND WOMEN.

ANOTHER BUSINESS CARD THROWN OUR WAY AS A WAY OF SHOEING US AWAY.

LIKE CHILDREN, TRICK OR TREATING.

RATHER THAN THE HEROES THEY ARE AND WILL ALWAYS BE.

RAY WOULD SAY CALM DOWN, JONNY, CALM DOWN.

I'VE GOT ALL THE CARDS I NEED.

AND HE WOULD TAP HIS POCKET.

PRAYER CARDS.

343 FIREFIGHTERS.

THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE TIME WAS FIVE SECONDS.

FIVE SECONDS!

THAT'S HOW LONG IT TOOK FOR FDNY, FOR NYPD, FOR PORT AUTHORITY, EMS, TO RESPOND TO AN URGENT NEED FOR THE PUBLIC.

THAT'S WHAT THEY NEEDED.

FIVE SECONDS.

HUNDREDS DIED IN AN INSTANT.

THOUSANDS MORE POURED IN.

TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

BREATHING PROBLEMS STARTED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.

THEY WERE TOLD THEY WEREN'T SICK.

THEY WERE CRAZY.

AND THEN AS THE ILLNESSES GOT WORSE AND THINGS BECAME WORSE, OKAY, YOU'RE SICK.

BUT IT'S NOT FROM THE PILE.

THEN WHEN THE SIGNS BECAME IRREFUTABLE, OKAY, IT'S THE PILE.

BUT THIS IS A NEW YORK ISSUE.

I DON'T KNOW IF WE HAVE THE MONEY.

I'M SORRY IF I SOUND ANGRY AND UNDIPLOMATIC, BUT I'M ANGRY AND YOU SHOULD BE, TOO.

AND THEY'RE ALL ANGRY AS WELL AND THEY HAVE EVERY JUSTIFICATION TO BE THAT WAY.

THERE IS NOT A PERSON HERE, THERE IS NOT AN EMPTY CHAIR ON THAT STAGE THAT DIDN'T TWEET OUT THE HEROES OF 9/11.

NEVER FORGET THEIR BRAVERY.

NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY GAVE FOR THIS COUNTRY.

HERE THEY ARE.

AND WHERE ARE THEY?

AND IT WOULD BE ONE THING IF THEIR CALLOUS INDIFFERENCE AND RANK HYPOCRISY WERE BENIGN BUT IT'S NOT.

YOUR INDIFFERENCE COST THESE MEN AND WOMEN THEIR MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY.

TIME.

THE ONE THING THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF.

THIS SHOULD BE FLIPPED.

THIS HEARING SHOULD BE FLIPPED.

THESE MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD BE UP ON THAT STAGE AND CONGRESS SHOULD BE DOWN HERE ANSWERING THEIR QUESTIONS AS TO WHY THIS IS SO DAMN HARD AND TAKE SO DAMN LONG.

AND WHY NO MATTER WHAT THEY GET, SOMETHING IS ALWAYS PULLED BACK.

AND THEY HAVE TO COME BACK.

MR. JOHNSON, YOU MADE A POINT EARLIER AND IT WAS ONE WE'VE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN THESE HALLS.

LOOK, YOU GUYS ARE OBVIOUSLY HEROES AND 9/11 WAS A BIG DEAL.

WE HAVE A LOT OF STUFF HERE TO DO.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THERE'S MONEY FOR A VARIETY OF DISASTERS AND HURRICANES.

THIS WASN'T A HURRICANE AND THIS WASN'T A TORNADO.

BY THE WAY, THAT IS YOUR JOB ANYWAY.

WE CAN'T FUND THESE PROGRAMS.

YOU CAN.

SETTING ASIDE THAT NO AMERICAN SHOULD FACE FINANCIAL RUIN BECAUSE OF A HEALTH ISSUE.

CERTAINLY 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER TO LIVE OR TO HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE.

THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN ONLY GIVE THEM FIVE MORE YEARS BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT WILL HAPPEN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, I CAN TELL YOU, I'M PRETTY SURE WHAT WILL HAPPEN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW.

MORE OF THESE MEN AND WOMEN ARE GOING TO GET SICK AND THEY ARE GOING TO DIE.

AND I AM AWFULLY TIRED OF HEARING THAT IT IS A 9/11 NEW YORK ISSUE.

AL QAEDA DIDN'T SHOUT DEATH TO TRIBECA.

THEY ATTACKED AMERICA AND THESE MEN AND WOMEN AND THEIR RESPONSE TO IT IS WHAT BROUGHT OUR COUNTRY BACK.

IT'S WHAT GAVE A REELING NATION A SOLID FOUNDATION TO STAND BACK UPON, TO REMIND US OF WHY THIS COUNTRY IS GREAT, OF WHY THIS COUNTRY IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

AND YOU ARE IGNORING THEM.

AND YOU CAN END IT TOMORROW.

WHY THIS BILL ISN'T UNANIMOUS CONSENT AND A STAND-ALONE ISSUE IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION.

AND I HAVE YET TO HEAR A REASONABLE EXPLANATION FOR WHY.

IT WILL GET STUCK IN SOME TRANSPORTATION BILL OR SOME APPROPRIATIONS BILL AND GET SENT OVER TO THE SENATE WHERE A CERTAIN SOMEONE FROM THE SENATE WILL USE IT AS A POLITICAL FOOTBALL TO GET THEMSELVES MAYBE ANOTHER NEW IMPORT TAX ON PETROLEUM.

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO US IN 2015.

AND WE WON'T ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE JOHN, FOR PEOPLE LIKE RAY, THANK GOD FOR ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT LET IT HAPPEN.

THEY RESPONDED IN FIVE SECONDS.

THEY DID THEIR JOBS WITH COURAGE, GRACE, TENACITY, HUMILITY.

18 YEARS LATER, DO YOURS!

THANK YOU.

> BACK IN MARCH, 'METROFOCUS' JACK FORD HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO ROBERT AND BRIDGE YET.

CHILDREN OF FIRST RESPOND HERE'S SUCCUMBED TO 9/11-RELATED ILLNESSES.

HE ALSO SPOKE WITH THE ATTORNEY MICHAEL BARRISH WHO HAS SPOKEN TO MANY OF THE FIRST RESPONDERS, INCLUDING THIS PERSON FOR WHOM IT WAS NAMED.

HE BEGAN THE CONVERSATION BY ASKING BRIDGET ABOUT HER FATHER AND THAT TERRIBLE DAY IN SEPTEMBER 2001.

MY FATHER WAS A FIRST RESPONDER FOR FDNY.

HIS COMPANY WAS THE FIRST TO ARRIVE RIGHT AFTER THE TERRORISM.

HE WENT DOWN THERE ON 9/11 AND HE STAYED THERE UNTIL ABOUT CHRISTMAS TIME WITH THE CLEAN-UP.

I DIDN'T SEE HIM VERY OFTEN.

HE CAME HOME, SHOWERED, SLEPT, WENT BACK.

I REMEMBER THE SMELL OF IT, TOO, AS A KID.

NEVER ANY RESERVATION ABOUT GOING BACK.

NO, NO, HE WENT BACK.

AND IN RETROSPECT, IF HE KNEW WHAT HE WOULD GO THROUGH, HE WOULD DO IT AGAIN.

I THINK A LOT OF GUYS WOULD.

AND THEN TELL ME ABOUT HIS DIAGNOSIS.

HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BLADDER CANCER AND THEN HE WENT THROUGH THE COURSE OF TREATMENT FROM JANUARY TO APRIL.

IN MAY HE GOT REALLY SICK.

IN JUNE, HE PASSED AWAY.

SO ASTONISHINGLY FAST.

VERY QUICKLY.

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.

WHEN HE RESPONDED THAT DAY, HE NEVER THOUGHT WOULD IT AFFECT HIM YEARS DOWN THE LINE.

10, 20 YEARS DOWN THE LINE.

MY FATHER WAS DIAGNOSE IN THE BRAIN CANCER IN THE SPRING OF 2015.

THEN HE PASSED AWAY IN THE FALL OF DECEMBER 2017.

HE WAS 58 YEARS OLD.

A HEALTHY GUY.

YOU NEVER THOUGHT THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS WOULD HAPPEN.

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AND REALIZE HE WAS ON THE PILE FOR SO MANY WEEKS AND MONTHS, RETURNING BACK THERE, THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE PROPER RESPIRATOR OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, FOR ASBESTOS AND LEAD AND EVERYTHING IN THE AIR.

SADLY, IT TOOK HIS LIFE.

MICHAEL, I'LL COME BACK TO YOU.

WE'RE GETTING NOW, WE'RE GETTING CLOSE TO 20 YEARS SINCE THAT HORRIBLE DAY.

AND 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, I'LL SURE YOU WERE THERE COVERING THE STORY.

THE SMELL AS BRIDGET SAID, IT REEKED DOWN THERE.

NOTWITHSTANDING WHAT THE EPA SAID, THAT THE AIR WAS SAFE, WE KNEW WASN'T SAFE.

THEY WANTED TO REOPEN WALL STREET.

THEY WANTED TO REOPEN THE HIGH SCHOOLS AND EVERYBODY TO SAY, WE'RE GOING AROUND ALL THIS.

WE'RE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS.

WE'RE BACK TO NORMAL.

THE DOCTORS ARE SEEING EXACTLY WHAT THEY EXPECTED NOW.

WHICH ARE NOT ONLY CANCERS BUT CANCERS ON STEROIDS.

REALLY RARE AGGRESSIVE CANCERS AND PEOPLE HAVE MULTIPLE CANCERS.

THAT'S WHY NOT A DAY GOES BY WITHOUT ONE OF MY CLIENTS PASSING AWAY.

IT IS THAT SERIOUS.

AND AS A RESULT, THE FUND WHICH HAS BEEN OPERATING VERY, VERY WELL, THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY.

THAT'S WHY THEY ANNOUNCED THE CUTS OF 50% AND 70%. WHICH IS SO UNFAIR.

BUT I UNDERSTAND IT.

THEY HAVE TO MAKE THE FUNDS LAST.

IT IS WHY WE'RE GOING BACK TO WASHINGTON.

WE HAVE TO CONVINCE CONGRESS TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND FULFILL ITS MORAL OBLIGATION AND PASS AND EXTEND THE FUND.

LET ME GO BACK TO SOMETHING YOU MENGTSED.

MENTIONED.

EVERYTHING THAT WAS INCINERATE IN THOSE BUILDINGS WAS IN THE AIR.

THEY DIDN'T FIND ONE PHONE OR ONE COMPUTER.

THEY ONLY FOUND ONE-THIRD OF THE PEOPLE.

ALL THAT STUFF WAS PULVERIZED.

SO PEOPLE WERE BREATHING THE TOXIC DUST WITH THE PH LEVEL OF DRAI DRAINO.

WE'RE SEEING RAMPANT BREAST CANCER AMONG WOMEN AND PROSTATE CANCER AMONG MEN.

AND AS I MENTIONED, 68 CANCERS ALTOGETHER.

MUST, MANY RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS.

WAS THERE RESISTANCE IN THE BEGINNING, THAT MANY CANCERS HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN IN RECENT MEMORY.

WAS THERE RESISTANCE TO SAYING, OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO RECOGNIZE THAT'S A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS AND WE'LL BRING YOU INTO OUR FOLD.

AT THE BEGINNING, NO CANCERS WERE LINKED.

THEY SAID IT WILL BE RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS.

REACTIVE AIRWAYS.

ASTHMA.

THEN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, THE MEDICAL OFFICE BEGAN TO SEE THIS BIG UPTAKE.

BETWEEN 19% AND 32% IN ALL THESE CANCERS AND THAT WAS THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY NEEDED.

FINALLY IN 2013 AND 2014, THAT'S WHEN THEY ADDED THESE CANCERS.

TELL ME ABOUT THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION.

IT WOULD FUND THE VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

IF AND WHEN THEY GET CANCER IN THE FUTURE, THEY'LL BE COVERED.

IF THEY LOSE THEIR CAREER BECAUSE THEY CAN'T WORK AS A RESULT OF THE CANCER, THEY'LL BE COVERED.

NO ENDING AT ALL OF RIGHT NOW THE HEALTH PROGRAM HAS BEEN RIGHTFULLY EXTENDED TO THE REST OF EVERYBODY'S LIFE.

WHY SHOULDN'T THE VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND?

TALK ABOUT WASHINGTON.

YOU FIRST.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THE ACCOMPLISH?

I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES IS THAT THEY THINK IT IS A NEW YORK PROBLEM.

THE MIDWESTERN REPRESENTATIVE THS, YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM THAT THEY HAVE X.

A PEOPLE IN THE PROGRAM.

ARE THEY SURPRISED?

SOMETIMES THEY ARE.

I SAW A STATISTIC THAT THERE ARE VICTIMS IN EVERY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT EXCEPT ONE IN THE UNITED STATES.

THAT'S IMPRESSIVE.

NOT IMPRESSIVE BUT IT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

IT IS A NATIONAL ISSUE.

THESE POLITICIANS, THEY ARE THE BIGGEST FLAG WAVERS SOMETIMES.

NEVER FORGET, POSTING, TWEETING, ON 9/11, POSTING, TWEETING.

AND THEN WHEN YOU LOOK FOR HELP, THEY CONVENIENTLY FORGET.

NEVER FORGET IS A LOOSE TERM.

MY FATHER TOOK ABOUT A DOZEN TRIPS TO WASHINGTON, D.C.

HIMSELF BEFORE HE WAS SICK.

THE LAST TWO TIMES HE WAS IN A WHEELCHAIR TO GO DOWN THERE.

JUST THE FACT THAT HE HAS TO GO DOWN THERE WITH MATERITERMINAL . WE SAW A MAN WITH LESS THAN SIX MONTHS TO LIVE WITH TERMINAL CANCER THAT WAS IN D.C. LAST TIME.

IF THAT DOESN'T SPEAK TO IT, I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE COULD.

THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO GO FIGHT FOR THEIR BENEFITS TO MAKE SURE THEIR FAMILIES WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF.

MY FAMILY HAS A PENDING CLAIM.

MANY OTHERS HAVE PENDING CLAIMS THAT ARE NOW CUT IN HALF OR WILL RECEIVE ONLY 30% OF WHAT OTHER FAMILIES DID.

IT'S NOT FAIR.

THE GOVERNMENT SET UP THIS FUND SO PEOPLE WOULDN'T BRING FOSHTH LAWSUITS.

NOW HERE THEY ARE.

A SHAP IN THE FACE IF YOU'LL ONLY GET 30 OR 50%. THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WILL BRING MY FATHER BACK BUT JUST KNOWING THAT MY FAMILY IS TAKEN CARE OF IS WHAT MY FATHER WOULD WANT TO SEE.

WE'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY THEY THOUGHT IT WAS A REGIONAL ISSUE.

IT TOOK MORE SHAMING THAN I THOUGHT WAS NECESSARY.

YEAH.

IF I COULD ADD ONE THING.

THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN ISSUE.

THIS WAS INCREDIBLY DEMOCRATIC TOXIC DUST.

IT DIDN'T CARE.

EVERYBODY WAS EXPOSED TO THE SAME TOXINS.

OUR GOVERNMENT LIED TO US AT FIRST.

THEN THEY DID THE RIGHT THING.

THEY MADE US A PLEDGE.

WE'RE ASKING, FULL IF I HAVE THAT PLEDGE AND TAKE CARE OF THE 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, YOUNG ADULTS, AND TELL OUR FIRST RESPONDERS.

HEY.

WE MADE YOU A PROMISE AND NOW WE'RE BREAKING THE PROMISE.

I THINK THEY'LL DO THE RIGHT THING AGAIN.

WHEN DO YOU THINK THESE BILLS MIGHT GET TO THE FLOOR?

I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO COME UP FOR VOTE RIGHT AFTER THIS SEPTEMBER 11.

PROBABLY EARLY OCTOBER.

I THINK IT WILL PASS THEN.

IS YOUR SENSE ALSO, AFTER THE CONVERSATIONS YOU HAD?

CURRENTLY IT WAS OVER 150 CO-SPONSORS IN THE HOUSE.

THEN ABOUT 20 SOMETHING CO-SPONSORS WITHIN THE SENATE.

WHERE HIT MATTER IS THE SENATE.

IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE AT LEAST 60 CO-SPONSORS IN THE SENATE.

THE FACT THAT THERE ISN'T IS WHY WE HAVE TO GO BACK.

ONE ADVANTAGE WE HAVE, WE HAVE SO MANY CLIENTS, SO MANY FIRST RESPONDERS IN FLORIDA, GEORGIA, WHERE THEY HAVE ALL REPUBLICAN SENATORS.

BASICALLY, WE NEED 11 MORE REPUBLICAN SENATORS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

AND I'M GOING TO USE MY CLIENTS WHO LIVE IN THOSE STATES TO BE CALLING THEIR LEGISLATORS AND SAY HEY, I'M A CONSTITUENT.

I NEED YOUR HELP.

THE THING IS, 9/11, ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE LIKE THIS WHEN OUR FATHERS CAME HOME.

WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES.

YOU HAVE THIS ISSUE OF SURVIVORS TURNING INTO VICTIMS TWO DECADES LATER.

I DIDN'T REALIZE THE EXTENT OF HOW BAD IT WAS UNTIL MY FATHER PASSED AWAY AND THEN PEOPLE -- I WAS THROWN INTO A COMMUNITY.

I DIDN'T NECESSARILY WANT TO BE THROWN INTO.

THERE WAS SOMEBODY THERE WHO IS IN HOSPICE NOW.

I DON'T WANT TO SAY DROPPING LIKE FLIES BUT IT WAS KIND OF DEVASTATING TO THINK ABOUT THAT.

I JUST WANTED TO DOCUMENT THE WHOLE LEGAL BATTLE, THE HEALTH CRISIS, WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE, WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THIS.

I WANT TO RESHIFT THE NARRATIVE, TOO.

IT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED.

IT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.

AND YOU'VE MADE A LIFE DECISION IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO NOW.

YEAH.

I TOOK THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TEST, THE FDNY TEST.

I'VE PASSED MY PHYSICAL TESTS, MY MEDICAL TESTS, AND I'M SET TO MAYBE ENTER THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ACADEMY THIS SUMMER.

I WANT TO MENTION.

YOU TOOK THE TEST BUT YOU ALSO SCORED 18th OUT OF 45,000.

YEAH OF THE 18 OUT OF 45,000.

A NICE SCORE SO I KNOW I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET IN THERE.

WERE YOU INCHINLD TO DO THIS BEFORE YOU LOST YOUR DAD?

ORIGINALLY I WAS SET TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL WHICH I STILL HOPE TO FULFILL.

WITH MY FATHER PASSING, I DEFINITELY WANT TO FILL HIS SHOES.

I'M GOING TO JOIN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND IT IS SOMETHING I WOULD LIKE TO DO TO GIVE BACK.

MICHAEL, I'LL COME BACK TO YOU IN TERMS OF HOW IT ALL PLAYED OUT.

WHEN THIS ALL HAPPENED BACK THEN, WOULD YOU HAVE THOUGHT 20 YEARS LATER, WE WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT HOW CAN WE PROVIDE SOMETHING TO HELP?

I'M NOT REALLY SURPRISED.

MY LAW FIRM IS TWO BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE TOWERS.

I WAS THERE THE DAY THE TOWERS START COMING DOWN.

I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE YOU SAW RUNNING UPTOWN WHILE THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS GOING DOWNTOWN.

SO I'M NOT SURPRISED.

HE KNOW HOW DEADLY THEY ARE.

I SEE THE DIAGNOSIS EVERY SINGLE DAY IN MY LAW IF I RECALL .

WE SAY IT OFTEN BUT NOT OFTEN ENOUGH.

YOUR DADS ARE THE ONES WHO RAN DIRECTLY INTO THE DANGER TO MAKE SURE THE REST OF US ARE SAFE.

AND I'M SURE BOTH OF THEM WOULD BE EXTRAORDINARILY PROUD OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

MOPE ANY THIS HAD -- HOPEFULLY THIS WILL WORK AND WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK FOR A CONVERSATION ABOUT PROTECTING PEOPLE.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

FOR TO YOU LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP, VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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