MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: March 18, 2019

Facing a rising number of cases of measles in New York State, lawmakers are proposing a bill that would let teens get vaccinated without their parents’ consent. 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 following the attacks.

AIRED: March 18, 2019 | 0:27:15
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS,"

YOUR HEALTH AND YOUR NEIGHBORS'

WELL-BEING AT RISK.

FACING A RISING CASES OF MEASLES

IN NEW YORK STATE, LAWMAKERS ARE

PROPOSING A BILL THAT WOULD LET

TEENS GET VACCINATED WITHOUT

THEIR PARENTS' CONSENT, A

CONTROVERSIAL MOVE THAT PITS

PUBLIC SAFETY AGAINST PARENTAL

CONTROL.

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE ISSUE?

THE DETAILS AHEAD.

>>> THEN --

>> THEY'RE FIRST RESPONDERS.

ALL THEY DO IS TALK ABOUT HOW TO

RESPOND MORE QUICKLY TO OUR

ISSUES.

AND HERE WE ARE 18 YEARS LATER

UNABLE TO RESPOND WHEN THEY NEED

IT.

>> FAMILIES AND ACTIVISTS WANT

TO ENSURE THAT THE BRAVE MEN AND

WOMEN WHO BECAME GRAVELY ILL AT

THE WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE

AFTER 9/11 HAVE THE

GOVERNMENTAL, MEDICAL, AND

FINANCIAL SUPPORT THEY NEED.

THEY TOOK THEIR CASE TO CAPITOL

HILL ONCE AGAIN, AND THEY'RE

HERE TO DISCUSS THE RESULTS OF

THAT TRIP.

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 PROVIDE BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR

RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSG & E, SERVING THE

COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE

FUTURE.

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

NATIONALLY, MORE THAN 200 CASES

OF MEASLES HAVE BEEN REPORTED

SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS

YEAR.

ASTOUNDINGLY, HERE IN NEW YORK

OVER SPO130 CASES IN BROOKLYN

ALONE.

PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND HEALTH

EXPERTS ARE WARNING PARENTS

EVERYWHERE TO NOT ALLOW THEIR

CHILDREN TO ATTEND SCHOOL IF

THEY HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED.

GOING ONE STEP FURTHER, SOME NEW

YORK LAWMAKERS HAVE INTRODUCED A

BILL TO HELP UNDERAGED CHILDREN

GET VACCINATED WITHOUT PARENTAL

CONSENT IF THEY IN FACT WANT TO

BE VACCINATED.

HERE WITH SOME MORE INFORMATION

ON ALL OF THIS ONE OF OUR

FAVORITE GUESTS HERE DR. DEBBIE,

PHYSICIAN AND ASSOCIATE

PROFESSOR AT NYU SCHOOL OF

MEDICINE.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

>> IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.

>> LET'S START OFF WITH A

LESSON, IF YOU WILL.

ABOUT MEASLES.

WE ALL TEND TO THINK WE KNOW

WHAT MEASLES ARE, BUT I WAS

ASTONISHED IN PREPARING THIS

SEGMENT WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW.

>> SURE.

MEASLES IS A DEADLY DISEASE.

NORMALLY WHEN WE THINK ABOUT

DANGEROUS AND DEADLY DISEASES,

YOU MIGHT THINK ABOUT HIV, ZIKA,

EBOLA, THESE ARE THE THINGS WE

HEAR ABOUT, BECAUSE WE HAVE

ALWAYS BEEN EXPOSED TO THE

VACCINE FOR THE MOST PART.

SO IT'S BEEN MUCH SAFER.

WE DON'T HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE

TYPICALLY DYING FROM MEASLES.

BEFORE THE VACCINE, BEFORE 1963

WHEN PEOPLE REPORTED THIS, THERE

WERE ABOUT 6,000 DEATHS PER YEAR

ACROSS THE GLOBE RELATED TO

MEASLES.

THAT'S CDC DATA.

SO NOW WITH MEASLES, THE

SYMPTOMS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ARE

TYPICALLY REGULAR COLD SYMPTOMS.

THEY CAN HAVE RUNNY NOSE, MAYBE

A COUGH, HIGH FEVER.

NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD

NECESSARILY SPOT.

AS IT EVOLVES, PEOPLE CAN GET A

RASH THAT COMES HEAD TO TOE.

BUT IF IT PROGRESSES, PEOPLE CAN

GET HOSPITALIZED.

IN THE WORST CASES THEY CAN HAVE

BRAIN SWELLING, DEAFNESS AND

DEATH.

ANY OF THESE COULD POTENTIALLY

HAPPEN.

AND THE ESTIMATE RIGHT NOW IS

THAT FOR EVERY THOUSAND KIDS

THAT GET MEASLES, ONE TO TWO

WILL DIE.

>> TALK ABOUT THE VACCINE.

WHAT DOES THE VACCINE DO TO

PROTECT US?

>> THE VACCINE IS A TEACHING

TOOL, LIKE ANY VACCINE.

IT'S BASICALLY THAT YOU'RE

EXPOSING YOUR BODY TO EITHER A

WEAK OR, YOU KNOW, PART OF A

VIRUS.

SO ANY VACCINE WILL DO THAT.

AND THEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM CAN

FIGHT IT AND JUST LEARN FROM

THAT PROCESS HOW TO FIGHT THE

REAL VIRUS THAT EVER COMES IN

CONTACT WITH IT.

SO BASICALLY, BY GETTING

VACCINATED, YOU DON'T HAVE 100%

CHANCE OF BEING PROTECTED FROM

MEASLES.

BUT IT'S IN THE 90% RANGE.

SO IT DEPENDS.

93 TO 97%, DEPENDING ON HOW MANY

DOSES YOU GET.

EVEN A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN

VACCINATED TWICE IS STILL AT

RISK OF GETTING THE MEASLES.

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN VACCINATED,

THERE IS A MUCH HIGHER RISK.

THERE THE WORLD HEALTH

ORGANIZATION ESTIMATES IF 95% OF

PEOPLE GET VACCINATED, SO 95%,

THEN EACH PERSON WHO HAS BEEN

VACCINATED ACTS AS A SHIELD, A

HUMAN SHIELD AGAINST THE VIRUS.

EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE

VACCINATION, IF YOU'RE

SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE

BEEN VACCINATED, YOU TOO WILL BE

PROTECTED.

SO THERE IS A PUBLIC HEALTH

ISSUE HERE.

AND AT THE SAME TIME, IF YOU

HAVE A CERTAIN THRESHOLD OF

PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET VACCINATED,

EVEN IF YOU ARE VACCINATED, YOU

ARE STILL AT RISK.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST

CONTAGIOUS VIRUSES ON EARTH.

SO IT CAN BE SPREAD JUST BEING

IN THE SAME ROOM.

EVEN IF A PERSON WHO HAS MEASLES

LEFT THE ROOM FOR TWO HOURS, YOU

CAN CATCH IT.

>> WHY HAVE WE SEEN MOST

RECENTLY THIS ANTI-VACCINE

MOVEMENT?

>> WELL, I'VE SEEN A COUPLE OF

DIFFERENT THINGS EVEN IN THE

PAST TEN YEARS.

ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, THE MAIN

CONCERN BROUGHT UP WAS AUTISM,

THAT VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM.

>> THE REPORT THAT GOT OUT THAT

HAS SINCE BEEN DISCREDITED.

>> EXACTLY.

SO IT'S BEEN DISCREDITED.

THE PERSON WHO WROTE IT WAS

ACCUSED OF FRAUD.

ON TOP OF THAT THERE HAVE BEEN

SEVERAL STUDIES THAT SHOW THAT

THAT'S NOT TRUE.

AS TIME EVOLVED, I HEAR OH, IF

YOU GET THE VACCINE, YOU GET THE

ILLNESS.

YOU CAN GET SICK FROM THE

VACCINE THAT IS NOT TRUE EITHER,

BUT NEVERTHELESS, THE NEWEST

THING I'M HEARING WHICH IS THE

MOST CONCERNING IS MORE THIS

ATTITUDE THAT WE DON'T NEED THE

VACCINE BECAUSE THIS ILLNESS HAS

BEEN ERADICATED, WHICH UP UNTIL

RECENTLY, FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS WE

THOUGHT WE HAD DEFEATED MEASLES.

SO THE ISSUE THERE IS THE PEOPLE

WHO PROMOTE THIS IDEA UNDERSTAND

THE HERD EFFECT TO SOME DEGREE.

IF YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE

WHO ARE IMMUNE, THEN YOU MIGHT

BE PROTECTED AS WELL.

BUT THE ISSUE THERE IS IF YOU

DON'T GET VACCINATED AND

EVERYBODY ASSUMES THAT SAME

ATTITUDE, THEN NONE OF US ARE

PROTECTED.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE

GOING TO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT

BENEFIT FROM HAVING THE VACCINE.

AND NOT ONLY, THAT YOU PROTECT

THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

>> IF THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION

GETS PASSED, WHICH ESSENTIALLY

SAYS THAT CHILDREN WHO

ORDINARILY WOULD BE CONSIDERED

UNDERAGED, THEY CAN GET

VACCINATED EVEN WITHOUT THE

CONSENT OF THEIR PARENTS.

IF IT GETS PASSED, OBVIOUSLY, AS

A PHYSICIAN, YOU HAVE THE WEIGHT

OF THE LAW ON YOUR SIDE.

WOULD IT BE CONCERNING DO YOU

THINK EVEN THOUGH THE LAW WOULD

BE ON THE SIDE OF PHYSICIANS TO

HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS NOTION, A

PARENT SAYING NO AND THE CHILD

SAYING YES?

>> I THINK IT'S DIFFICULT.

SO FIRST OF ALL, I AM IN FAVOR

OF THE KIDS GETTING VACCINATED,

EVEN IF THE PARENTS ARE OPPOSED

TO IT.

I THINK IT'S BETTER AND SAFER

FOR THE CHILD.

>> AS OPPOSED TO GETTING

SOMEBODY ANGRY.

I THINK THAT'S AN EASY DECISION.

>> EXACTLY.

BUT IT'S NOT CONSEQUENCE-FREE.

SO THE ISSUE IS LET'S SAY YOU

HAVE A CONFLICT WITH THE PARENT.

YOU COULD HAVE LEGAL ISSUES

RELATED TO THAT.

PEOPLE COULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT

MALPRACTICE, RIGHT.

THEY COULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT

INSURANCE ISSUES, WHOSE PAYING

FOR THIS.

AND THEN MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN

THAT, I THINK IF YOU HAVE A

CONFLICT WITH THE PARENT, MAYBE

THEY WON'T BRING THAT CHILD TO

SEE YOU AGAIN.

AND MAYBE THERE IS ANOTHER ISSUE

THAT COULD BE DEALT WITH OR

TREATED OR SOME OTHER HEALTH

CONCERN THAT THE CHILD HAS OR

THE PARENT HAS.

IT'S REALLY VERY TRICKY.

>> IT'S NOT ALWAYS SIMPLE.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU

HERE.

I ALWAYS FEEL MUCH SMARTER AFTER

I TALK YOU.

YOU DO A GREAT JOB EXPLAINING

THIS WELL FOR US.

YOU DO.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> 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.

>> "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 --


FEATURED PROGRAMS