Posted: September 16, 2015


Benjamin Chevat

***New Location for 10AM Rally – Now At House Egg, East Front Lawn, Zone 10 of the U.S. Capitol***

Sick Responders, Survivors & Stewart to Hold 10am Kick-off Rally in House Egg, East Front Lawn, Zone 10 Before Fanning Out To Lobby on Both Sides of the Hill, Media Availability at 1:30pm in Senate Visitors Center Room 201

As Host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart Played A Key Role in Passage of the Original Zadroga Bill in 2010 by Devoting An Entire Show to the Plight of Our First Responders – Participants in 9/11 Health Program Living in All 50 States and 429 of 435 Congressional Districts

Washington D.C. – The Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act, tireless 9/11 advocate John Feal and over 100 hundred first responders will be joined by special guest Jon Stewart on Capitol Hill TODAY, Wednesday, September 16, 2015 for a lobbying day aimed at permanently extending and fully funding the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. First responders, many of them sick, along with doctors from the program will be joined by Stewart as they yet again are forced to walk the halls of Congress and lobby lawmakers to support extension of these life-saving programs. In addition to a kick-off rally and mid-day media availability, Jon Stewart and a team of responders will crisscross the Capitol, meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the Senate and House. Meetings will include leading bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and House, Ranking Member of the HELP Committee Senator Patty Murray, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and key staff from both chambers. Jon Stewart will be a guest at the weekly Democratic Senate Caucus Lunch and teams of first responders will be meeting with additional lawmakers.

The first responders will drop by 171 Congressional offices throughout the day to thank Members that have cosponsored the bill. The Zadroga bill, which was originally passed in December 2010 after almost a decade long fight, will begin to expire later this year. The bill established the World Trade Center Health Program and Victim Compensation Fund. Participants in the health program live in all 50 states and 429 of 435 congressional districts. A bipartisan group of 37 Senators, including six Republicans, and 151 House members, including 33 Republicans are cosponsors of legislation to make these programs permanent like similar existing programs covering sick coal miners, atomic weapons plant workers and nuclear energy workers. Experts say that without these programs lives would be put at risk.


  • 10am: Kick-off Rally with First Responders and Jon Stewart Location: House Egg, East Front Lawn, Zone 10, of the U.S. Capitol Building)
  • 1:30pm: Media Availability w/ Bipartisan Senate & House Cosponsors of the 9/11 Zadroga Act, First Responders, Jon Stewart (Location: SVC 201)

It’s important for Congress to recognize that the death toll didn’t end on 9/11, and is still climbing every month due to the illnesses from the toxins at Ground Zero during the clean-up and recovery. In fact, more police officers have reportedly died from their 9/11-related injuries since 9/11 than perished on 9/11. More than 33,000 9/11 responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer and many more, caused by exposure to toxins, including carcinogens, at Ground Zero. At least 4,166 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by 9/11 – a number that is sure to grow in the years to come.

On December 16, 2010, Jon Stewart devoted The Daily Show’s final episode of the year to shining a light on the need for Congress to do the right thing and stand with first responders by finally passing the Zadroga bill. This episode played a key role in the ultimate passage of the bill one week later on the final day of the lame duck session of Congress. This past July, with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as a guest on the show, Stewart said, “This is such bullsh*t it’s insane…We are not letting this go this time, because this one honestly, is the most galling example of a legislature removed from the purpose of their job, and from the patriotism flag that they wave so heartedly when it serves their needs.” Off-stage, speaking with Gillibrand and a group of first responders who were in the audience, Stewart offered to visit Washington in September to help in any way he could.


As the nation recovered from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a public health disaster was just beginning to unfold. After 9/11, Americans from all 50 states rushed to Ground Zero to assist with the rescue and recovery effort. Thousands of brave men and women risked their lives to help others, working in extremely hazardous conditions often without proper protective equipment while the Federal Government assured them that the air was safe. Many were injured in the course of this work.

Rescue and recovery workers breathed in a toxic stew of chemicals, asbestos, pulverized cement, and other health hazards released into the air when the towers fell, and as the site smoldered for months. The dust cloud that rolled through lower Manhattan after the attacks settled in homes, offices, and buildings – exposing tens of thousands more residents, students area workers to the same toxins.

Today, more than 33,000 9/11 responders and survivors are struggling with illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks. They live in every state and 429 out of 435 Congressional districts nationwide. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, to name but a few. Medical research has identified more than 50 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. At least 4,166 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by 9/11 – a number that is sure to grow in the years to come.

To date over 85 NYPD police officers have reportedly died from their 9/11 injuries since 9/11, more than were killed on 9/11 and more than 130 FDNY firefighters have also died with in the years since, with more deaths expected among all the responders and survivors.

Here are two videos that let injured 9/11 responders and survivors and those that care for them explain the problem.

Renew James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
Nurses ask Washington to save cancer treatment for the 9/11 Heroes they care for!
Interview with John Feal on RNN telling the stories of first responders.