Chelsea IrizarryMar 5, 2018, 6:18 pmMar 6, 2018, 4:00 pm

Jon Stewart, officials say Trump’s proposed budget endangers 9/11 health program

Creator of organization that assists first-responders says the bill would delay treatment

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MINEOLA — Jon Stewart and several lawmakers pushed against a portion of the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget which could jeopardize health care for 9/11 responders. In Washington on Monday, Congressman Peter King joined Stewart to call on the president to withdraw the proposal.

“If you want to step up and say, ‘I love my first-responders in this country; we love our veterans,’ well, stop screwing them,” Stewart said during a press conference.

The 2019 budget would reorganize the World Trade Center Health Program which is currently housed within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“There has probably never been a federal program — a program acting at a federal level — that has gone through with no complaints, no criticism, no allegations, no scandals. It's an entirely 100 percent effective program,” King said.

President Trump's budget would move NIOSH into the National Institute of Health, separating the World Trade Center Health Program from NIOSH. The move could jeopardize health care for 83,000 9/11 first responders and leave the 9/11 community in limbo.

“This will be months and months before they get their acts together, caught up to speed on medications mailed to people's houses, or the surgeries approved for those with stage IV cancer,” said John Feal of the Fealgood Foundation, an organization that helps assist injured first-responders.

King says he pledges to continue to fight for and protect the World Trade Center 9/11 Health Program.

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