2
   

EXCLUSIVE: Trump administration secretly withheld millions from FDNY 9/11 health program

 
 
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 08:26 pm
EXCLUSIVE: Trump administration secretly withheld millions from FDNY 9/11 health program
By Michael McAuliff
New York Daily News |

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-fdny-911-health-program-treasury-20200910-s7yam67j6vhmhbdzg6ordanfdm-story.html

Sep 10, 2020 at 5:40 PM

The Trump administration has secretly siphoned nearly $4 million away from a program that tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses, the Daily News has learned.

The Treasury Department mysteriously started withholding parts of payments — nearly four years ago — meant to cover medical services for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics treated by the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, documents obtained by The News reveal.

The payments were authorized and made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which oversees the program. But instead of sending the funds to the city, the Treasury started keeping some of the money.

“This was just disappearing,” the program’s director, Dr. David Prezant, told The News. “This is the most amazing thing. This was disappearing — without any notification.”

Prezant said he was docked about half a million dollars each year in 2016 and 2017. Then it crept up to about $630,000 in 2018 and 2019. This year, Treasury has nearly tripled its extractions, diverting $1.447 million through late August, according to Prezant.

“Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we’re not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes,” said Prezant, the FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer.

“And for years, they wouldn’t even tell us — we never ever received a letter telling us this,” he explained.

Prezant was never able to get an explanation from NIOSH or the mammoth Department of Health and Human Services which has the agency under its umbrella.

After years of complaining, Prezant did get a partial answer when Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King put his political weight behind the inquiry. That answer was that some other agency in the city has been in an unrelated feud with the feds over Medicare bills.

For some reason, Treasury decided to stiff the FDNY. Neither the Treasury Department nor the White House answered requests for comment.

King said whatever the circumstance is that forces a premier program for sick 9/11 first responders to go begging for help on the eve on the 19th anniversary of the attack — it has to end.

“It’s disgraceful,” King said.

“I don’t even care what the details of this thing is. That fund has to be fully compensated, fully reimbursed. I mean, this is absurd,” he said. “If anyone were true American heroes, it was the cops and firemen on 9/11, especially the firemen, and for even $1 to be being held back is absolutely indefensible.”

King wrote to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin over the summer asking what the problem was and for a solution. He got no response and has fired off another letter.

He also intends to confront Vice President Mike Pence on Friday, when both attend the Tunnel to Towers event honoring the anniversary.

“I gotta tell him,” King said. “Forget the politics. I don’t want to sound naive, but this is terrible, absolutely inexcusable.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is equally as disgusted.

“The Trump Treasury Department siphoning congressionally appropriated funds meant to pay for 9/11 workers' healthcare is an outrageous finger in the eye to the firefighters, cops and other first responders who risked their lives for us," Schumer said. This needs to stop forthwith and payments to the workers' health program must be made whole — and now.”
Related Gallery

Congress created a temporary health program in 2010, with the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The program was extended by 75 years in Dec. 2015, after sick and dying 9/11 workers made hundreds of trips to the Capitol pleading their cause.

“I’m not sure what quite what to make of this other than it’s despicable,” said Jake Lemonda, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “We’ve fought very hard for many years for these funds to provide proper medical treatment for our sick and injured. The withholding of these funds without a legitimate explanation is inexcusable.”

Prezant said he’s been able to keep functioning because the Fire Department fronts the program the money, with the understanding that the feds will reimburse it under the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The program was designed by Congress and the government to be self-sufficient. The lack of reimbursement means Prezant may have to do less to support the sick, even though the program is extremely cost-efficient, since its staff only draw city government salaries.

“The money that we don’t get means that physicians, nurses and support staff are not hired. We have not had to lay off anyone, yet, but we are at that brink,” he explained. “This just isn’t fair. It’s not fair to our patients.”

“The city has been covering some of our shortfall. But in this time of COVID crisis, that cannot continue,” he said.
 
Below viewing threshold (view)
Below viewing threshold (view)
Below viewing threshold (view)
Below viewing threshold (view)
Sturgis
 
  -1  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:21 pm
9/11 the horror that keeps on taking.
The entire situation took a toll along with lives. The chemicals in the air slowly brought on various forms of cancer. A few days ago a report came out which has linked higher than usual rates of early onset dementia.

Hopefully with the revelation of the monetary theft, the feds will be forced to put the money back. I won't hold my breath waiting though.
bobsal u1553115
 
  7  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:47 pm
@Sturgis,
Its hard to believe how they believed they were given the keys to the bank,
glitterbag
 
  1  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:47 pm
@Sturgis,
I hope that money wasn't sent to pay for his frigging wall.
bobsal u1553115
 
  9  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:48 pm
@glitterbag,
I don't care where it went, I just want it back.

Have you read: the second wave is on the way.
glitterbag
 
  2  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:53 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Are you kidding??? He never picks ups a check, he stiffed his contractors, he's been bankrupt many times (which by the way only hurts his creditors and the rest of us who actually pay our bills). And he's never seen a pot of federal money he didn't want for himself. Basically he's a massive greedy amoral mooch.
Below viewing threshold (view)
bobsal u1553115
 
  8  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:55 pm
@glitterbag,
A thief.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  2  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 10:56 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Not yet, crap.....I'm never going to get out of the house. I don't understand how a bunch of people think Obama wearing a tan suit was a crime but not feel a ripple of regret as we close in on 200,000 dead from Covid.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:02 pm
@glitterbag,
Look here young lady, President Obama also put his feet up on the desk and then his health conscious wife planted a vegetable garden! Can you believe it? A vegetable garden.

Why this was the most outrageous thing since JFK's children were seen in the Oval Office!
FreedomEyeLove
 
  -2  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:04 pm
Everybody, please, screenshot the votes and time stamps on this this thread.

bob can't decide whether it looks better for him and his sock puppets if my posts are voted up (enough to be visible at least), or to be voted down into double digits.

The votes keep changing drastically in real time because bob knows I caught him.

Jespah, are you out there? Care to chime in?
bobsal u1553115
 
  6  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:04 pm
@glitterbag,
And then Milania pulled the Roses out of the Rose Garden!
glitterbag
 
  1  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:07 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

Look here young lady, President Obama also put his feet up on the desk and then his health conscious wife planted a vegetable garden! Can you believe it? A vegetable garden.

Why this was the most outrageous thing since JFK's children were seen in the Oval Office!


I guess if Obama had been a big WWW fan and a friend of that sleazeball McMahan (I don't know how to spell his name) he would have been embraced by all the shitkickers.
FreedomEyeLove
 
  -3  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:08 pm
@FreedomEyeLove,
My reply just now got -8 votes in like 10 seconds. Literally no way for that happen without vote manipulation!
Sturgis
 
  0  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:08 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
In fairness it was part of her Be Best campaign. That brought on the garden remake...

...which Trumples destroyed in record time by holding one of his no masks and no social distancing rallies... Maybe he stole the funds to pay for the rally refreshments.
glitterbag
 
  0  
Fri 11 Sep, 2020 11:09 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

And then Milania pulled the Roses out of the Rose Garden!


The Rose Garden now looks like Gorky Park......google it, it's Soviet era austere and unremarkable. I hope she doesn't decide to plant new trees around the reflecting pool.
 

Related Topics

How will Trump handle losing the election? - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Trump and the Central Park Five - Discussion by ossobuco
TRUMP's GONE---This just in - Discussion by farmerman
The Future President, Donald Trump - Discussion by edgarblythe
Trump's Election Fraud - Question by thebobeternal
Trump & his endless propaganda - Discussion by Teufel
 
  1. Forums
  2. » EXCLUSIVE: Trump administration secretly withheld millions from FDNY 9/11 health program
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/01/2020 at 02:47:37