New York city's mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for more funds to flow, for those connected with the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City.
He was speaking at a meeting where he released the first comprehensive profile on existing health needs of 9/11 victims.
The 83-page script was released more than five years after doctors first noticed that rescue and recovery workers exposed to the dust — a combination of pulverized concrete and toxic minerals and compounds — at ground zero, were developing persistent respiratory ailments.
Calling for a minimum of a billion dollars, the mayor put the estimated cost on New York's health departments in the treatment of the affected as 150 million dollars.
This amount includes the cost of screening, treating and monitoring rescue workers, first responders, business owners, residents and others who might have been affected by the smoke and dust released by the destruction of the twin towers.
The federal government has pledged $20 billion in aid and tax breaks, mostly for rebuilding lower Manhattan, and President Bush included $25 million in his most recent budget to provide health care for emergency workers.
Bloomberg called on the U.S. government to renew a victims' compensation fund that expired in 2004 so that it can cover claims from people whose health symptoms developed years after the World Trade Center collapse.
Bloomberg sums up his appeal in these words: Anything less and they (the federal government) would be turning their backs on those who responded with courage and suffered through this terrible ordeal.'