Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Daily News: “Schneiderman Warns Trump: Don’t Play with 9/11 Hero Health Agency”

April 11, 2018

As published by The New York Daily News, on April 11, 2018.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is joining a chorus of New York officials warning Washington not to mess with the World Trade Center Health Program.

President Trump’s budget proposal would result in the program — which provides treatment for scores of 9/11 first responders sickened by conditions at Ground Zero — being moved out from under the auspices of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, whose director currently serves as its administrator.

“Our country has a solemn obligation to provide health care to the tens of thousands of survivors and first responders who are still suffering from 9/11-related injuries and illnesses,” Schneiderman said in a statement to the Daily News. “Congress must act to ensure 9/11 survivors and first responders continue to receive the care that they need and deserve.”

The budget proposes to remove the NIOSH from the Centers for Disease Control — but not the World Trade Center Health Program, leaving it under the CDC without the institution that has long overseen it.

In his letter, addressed to members of Congress atop committees that have oversight of the program, Schneiderman argued that could be disastrous — because NIOSH has overseen the program since its creation and offers its expertise in determining which health conditions are covered, funding research on 9/11 health issues and supervising the treatment and monitoring of 9/11 health problems.

The administration has “offered no compelling justification” for the plan, which Schneiderman wrote “would be unnecessarily disruptive and potentially dangerous for the victims of the greatest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.”