People are still dying of 9/11 health problems – and they continue to struggle for recognition – according to first responder and survivor advocate John Feal.
“We gave hope to a broken city 20 years ago and we pay for it with our lives. And the first 20 years were tough for us. The next 20 years will decimate the 9/11 responder community and pray that our federal government will evolve as we evolve for the worse, “Feal told CNN.
Feal worked at the Ground Zero site for over five days and was injured there, he said. He said he never wore a mask or respirator because no one ever told workers to do so.
“We worked, we ate there, we slept, we cried there, we went to the toilet there. The nose, mouth and skin; we were there around the clock, these men and women, in uniform and not in uniform, never thought their city, state and local governments would lie to them while they searched and cleaned up Lower Manhattan, “said Feal.
“9/11 still kills,” he said.
“And now these men and women are paying the ultimate price, and while they left Ground Zero, some of them stayed there, but then they went home and died because they were lied to and never properly cared for. Nobody ever apologized to us, “added Feal.
Some context: Through August 2021, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund has received claims from individuals from all states, as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and 31 other countries. More than 40,000 individuals have received awards totaling more than $ 8.95 billion.
Since it reopened in 2011, the VCF has received a total of more than 67,000 funding applications.
“We had to fight and keep going to DC for health care and then compensation for the same people who lied to us. It’s hard to believe after 20 years. You know, today I am We will stay vigilant and pay respect to those who have lost a loved one. But tomorrow we will work for it again, “said Feal.