– Speaks about his own experience as someone who suffers from health issues due to being at Ground Zero during 9/11 and the need for Congress to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.
– States that he had to contact his Member of Congress to get assistance for 9/11 health benefits.
About Rudy Washington
Rudy Washington, Deputy Mayor in the Giuliani Administration always stood out, for reasons beyond his distinction as the only black deputy mayor in a Giuliani administration. During 9/11 many people acted heroically on that awful Tuesday, he among them. After the first tower’s collapse enveloped him in a toxic plume, he rushed to City Hall and helped to make some of the critical decisions in those early moments of chaos, when even the whereabouts of Mr. Giuliani was unknown. The quiet deputy mayor spoke several times with Governor Pataki. He telephoned the naval commander of the Atlantic fleet to check on air cover for the city. He evacuated City Hall and set up shop at One Police Plaza. He quickly mustered heavy equipment and floodlights to expedite the search for bodies and the clearing of debris. He oversaw some of the assistance provided to affected families and businesses. He spent a lot of time at ground zero. Within weeks, Mr. Washington was hospitalized in intensive care, due to a bacterial infection that doctors linked to his exposure to the contaminated ground zero air. When he was better, he went back to work. Years passed. Mr. Washington became sick. Once proud of his health, he developed respiratory and digestive problems, including asthma and an irritated throat. His 9/11 story and battle with authorities over treatment of first responders is the subject of this morning’s discussion.
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