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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Two representatives of New York

by digby

Via The Guardian:
Having declared 9/11 to be an attack on all Americans, Clinton soon discovered that the national response was not entirely united or favorable to struggling New Yorkers. The head of the EPA at the time, Christine Todd Whitman, repeatedly insisted the air at Ground Zero was safe even as early as three days after the towers collapsed, as did Mayor Rudy Giuliani despite worries within City Hall that they were facing thousands of liability claims.

Confronted by this wall of denial, Clinton was one of the most powerful voices warning of an impending health crisis. Ben Chevat, chief of staff to congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York on 9/11, recalls the impact.

“The Bush administration was saying, ‘There’s no problem, move along’,” he said, “and so it was hard work getting any traction in the media. Yet we knew there was a problem because people were getting sick with respiratory diseases and cancers.”

Chevat, now executive director of 9/11 Health Watch, said: “It took Clinton to put a spotlight on the issue and change the frame.”

Clinton and her allies started small but over time succeeded in dramatically expanding the health program for those who became ill after
9/11. Within weeks of the attacks she had helped secure $12m for a pilot project at Mount Sinai hospital, screening some 9,000 workers with suspected Ground Zero illnesses.

By April 2004 the program had grown to a $90m fund offering three free medical exams a year to 50,000 first responders and residents of lower Manhattan. In 2010, Clinton having passed on the baton to her successor in the US senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, reluctant Republicans in Congress were cajoled into passing the $4bn Zadroga Act, covering the health costs of those impaired by the toxic fumes. Last year the program was extended for 75 years, and now serves 65,000 emergency responders and almost 10,000 9/11 resident survivors.

Philip Landrigan, who hosted the first World Trade Center medical program at Mount Sinai, puts this success story in no small part down to Clinton’s relentless pursuit of the subject coupled with her attention to detail.

“She was angry at the Washington political leaders who would come to Ground Zero, have photos taken and then go back to DC and do nothing,” he said.

“She became deeply knowledgable on the subject, not just fiscal and administrative details, but also about medical and mental health problems. She was a sponge for knowledge.”
It's a good article about Clinton's emotional reaction and her relationship with people who were affected. She apparently took her job as Senator for New York very seriously and worked hard in a number of ways in the aftermath. And she was righteously pissed about the Bush administration's response to the health crisis from ground zero.

And there there was this:
Clinton’s powerful engagement in the 9/11 health cause makes for a strong contrast with how her presidential rival, Donald Trump, spent his time in the wake of the terrorist attacks. He used a loophole in federal funding to help small businesses hurt by the disaster to claim $150,000 in subsidies for a Wall Street real estate project.

He's the most famous living New York businessman. He is synonymous with the city. Did anyone see him take up a cause, lobby congress, start a 9/11 charity, anything???

He did zilch for his city. In fact, he took thousands in subsidies that were not meant for him.

That's your patriot, Republicans.

FWIW: here's a piece recalling Clinton's immediate reaction after the attacks by WNYC: