FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LATEST STEPS IN ADDRESSING THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACKS IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 23, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"More than 400,000 people-not just New Yorkers, but Americans from all 50 states-may have been exposed to the dust and smoke produced by the attack on the World Trade Center. The physical and mental health problems that many of them now face, or may face in the future, resulted from an act of war against all America. Diagnosing and treating their health problems is a national duty-and last week saw major steps toward fulfilling that duty.
"First, our Administration testified on behalf of a bill introduced by New York City Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Republican Congressman Vito Fossella, and supported by our City's entire Congressional delegation. It would provide Federal funds for research and treatment of 9/11 health-related conditions-research and treatment that we estimate will require some $150 million a year. It would also reopen the World Trade Center Victims Compensation Fund to those whose injuries and illnesses have emerged since eligibility for the Fund expired in 2003. This bill is vital to those whose health may have been affected by 9/11, including people from all over the nation who helped in our recovery efforts.
"While federal action is essential, New York City isn't waiting for any outside help. Instead, the City has committed some $100 million to 9/11-health programs between now and 2011. That includes nearly $50 million for expanding Bellevue Hospital's free WTC Environmental Health Center. It's the only program that treats not only firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers who responded to the World Trade Center attack, but also all those who lived and worked in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and during its aftermath. Last week, we launched satellites of this WTC Environmental Health Center at two other public health care centers: Gouverneur Healthcare Services on the Lower East Side, and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, which serves an area where many workers exposed to WTC dust and smoke live. With this expansion, by early next year the WTC Environmental Health Center will have the capacity to examine and treat up to 20,000 people through 2011.
"The need for full, long-term 9/11 health programs was underscored last week by an FDNY report on the more than 14,000 firefighters and EMS workers who either responded to the World Trade Center attack or who took part in recovery efforts. It found that six years later, many of these courageous responders have respiratory conditions or lingering mental health problems related to that terrible disaster. Clearly, first-rate care is the least that our nation owes these brave men and women.
"We also owe those who perished on 9/11 a fitting permanent memorial. That's why today in Pittsburgh, I'm meeting up with the National Tribute Exhibition Tour for the September 11 Memorial & Museum. The tour features a steel beam that will be part of the Memorial that will be built at the World Trade Center site. It also includes photos and artifacts that will be on display at the Museum, and that retell the story of 9/11 in all its pain and pride. The tour is set to visit 25 cities across our land. And it says a lot about Americans' shared commitment to all the unfinished work of 9/11 that since the tour began just 13 days ago, it has already raised some $1 million in donations for the Memorial & Museum.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address