June 23, 2008
CBS Sports reports that ex-New York Giants lineman George Martin has raised $2 million for sick 9/11 rescue workers, betrayed and ignored by the government. On Saturday, Martin completed the last leg of a cross-country walk intended to raise the money. CBS Sports writes:
Martin ended his nine-month, 3,003-mile trek at Embarcadero Park, where he was met by police officers, firefighters and other NFL alumni.
“I feel like a million bucks,” Martin said. “Other than a blister that I have on my left foot, I’m in great shape.”
The co-captain of the 1986 Super Bowl champions said he considered it a privilege to walk on behalf of the 9/11 first responders. He called them far more heroic than any professional athlete.
“What they did on that day, I could never do in a million years,” Martin said.
He began the walk in New York on Sept. 16 to draw attention to the plight of rescue and recovery workers who developed respiratory problems after working in the dusty ruins of the World Trade Center.
“These heroes need our collective support,” Martin said in a statement. “Many who answered our nation’s call for help now cannot even walk up the steps in their own homes due to severe respiratory and other ailments. Some are dying. They deserve our help.”
In May, New York State health officials released statistics indicating that 360 9/11 rescue workers have died since the event. In addition, they also admitted that there is an overall undercount of workers adversely affected by asbestos, mercury, lead and other contaminants. “In spite of the state’s refusal to be drawn on whether there has been an elevation in deaths due to 9/11, it was revealed back In 2006, almost five years on from the disaster, that there has been a startling increase in cases of a particular lung scarring disease, known as sarcoidosis, among firefighters, which rose to five times the expected rate in the two years after the attacks,” writes Steve Watson.
|On February 26, 2008, Dennis Kucinich addressed the plight of rescue workers outside the U.S. Capitol.|
George Martin’s effort to help the rescue workers arrives in the wake of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that former EPA boss Christine Todd Whitman is not responsible for incorrectly informing the residents of lower Manhattan that the air there was fit to breathe. In essence, the court blamed Bush for issuing “contradictory information” and excused Whitman. Moreover, the Justice Department argued that holding Whitman and the EPA liable would establish a risky legal precedent because future public officials would be afraid to make public statements.
Martin is joined by congressman Dennis Kucinich who has worked to hold “a hearing on 9/11 health that would start from sworn statements and other compiled information about the health conditions of rescue workers suffering from ground zero exposure,” as Aaron Dykes reports for The Jones Report. “Many blame the 9/11 health epidemic on the EPA for making falsely-reassuring statements about the air quality and outright lying– under apparent White House pressure– to declare the air ‘safe to breath’ and reopen Wall Street in the days after 9/11.”
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