FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CITY'S NEW 9/11 HEALTH CAMPAIGN AND THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL COMMITMENT TO CARE FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM THE AFTERMATH OF 9/11 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 7, 2008
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. "Lived there? Worked there? You deserve care."
"Tomorrow, New Yorkers will begin seeing that message on television, in newspapers, at bus stops and subway stations, and also hearing it on the radio. It's the theme of the City's new $5 million public service advertising and outreach campaign directed to people with health problems that might be linked to the destruction of the World Trade Center.
"We're mounting this new campaign because, seven years after 9/11, the evidence is clear: Thousands of people continue to suffer, physically and emotionally, from the terrorist attack that day. Last week, that was confirmed by the first annual report of the blue-ribbon 'World Trade Center Medical Working Group' that we appointed in 2007. These top-level researchers and doctors found that rescue and recovery workers, and also residents, workers, and students in Lower Manhattan - particularly all those who had long and intense exposure to dust and debris from the collapsing towers - have experienced elevated levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases. They found that post-traumatic stress disorder also remains highly prevalent in all of these groups.
"Our new ad campaign urges people to seek help at the WTC Environmental Health Center that we've established at three of our public hospitals: Bellevue Hospital and Gouverneur Healthcare Services in Manhattan; and Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. More than 2,800 people have already received free treatment at these facilities.
"Expanding these health services, as well as conducting ongoing research into 9/11-related health conditions, were among 15 recommendations made to me by a City task force in February 2007. Today, 18 months later, we've implemented, or begun implementing, all 15 of them. We have, for example, appointed a World Trade Center Health Coordinator in the City's Health Department, issued 9/11 health treatment guidelines to 40,000 medical professionals, and established the nation's most extensive World Trade Center health information website at nyc.gov, which has been visited more than 300,000 times since it went into operation 12 months ago.
"New York City has also committed $100 million to addressing 9/11 health problems. But the Federal government needs to do its part, too. This week, Congress is returning to work - and a top item on their agenda ought to be passing the '9/11 Health and Compensation Act' sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Vito Fossella, and Peter King. With bi-partisan support, it would, at long last, establish consistent, predictable Federal funding for 9/11 health research and treatment. It also would re-open the Victim Compensation Fund to people whose injuries or illnesses weren't apparent before eligibility for compensation ended in 2003.
"It's increasingly clear that the health problems created by 9/11 are likely to be with us for many years to come. Now, with the anniversary of 9/11 at hand, our nation's leaders should commit to caring for all those who continue to suffer the aftermath of that attack - including those who heroically stepped forward when our nation needed them most.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address