(TRENTON) – Assembly Conference Leader Annette Quijano (D-Union) blasted the U.S. Department of Treasury’s decision to secretly withhold millions of dollars from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program. The program was created ten years ago to pay for 9/11 related medical services for firefighters, EMTs and paramedics treated for illnesses contracted during rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
Assemblywoman Quijano issued the following statement Monday:
“I am outraged after reading an article detailing how the U.S. Treasury has secretly been withholding millions of dollars from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program for four years. This includes a reported $1.5 million in 2020.
“It is unconscionable that any of these funds are withheld, but it is particularly abhorrent that families, struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, are now facing medical bills they did not anticipate and are being abandoned by the federal government.
“The first responders who risked their lives and long-term health to help save lives following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are true Americans heroes. They need to be assured that their country will be there for them as they were there for us on that horrible day.
“I call on Treasury to immediately release these withheld funds and be completely transparent going forward.”