Comedian and former host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart will be headed to the nation’s Capitol alongside a number of advocates for the medical programs that aid 9/11 first responders. March on Stewart and Co.!
Stewart has been made responsible for the passing of the Zadroga Act, named after first responder NYPD officer James Zadroga who died from a respiratory disease in 2006. Back in 2010, Stewart invited several first responders to the World Trade Center attacks who were suffering from incident-related illnesses on his show, which many attribute to guilting Congress into passing the law. The World Trade Center Health Program under the act provides care to over 70,000 responders is set to expire this October, but the advocates will fight for permanent extension to prevent heavy financial burdens caused by expensive treatment and to avoid further ordeals regarding this matter.
Stewart, who is appalled that the act has not been reauthorized yet, told Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that this is “the most galling example of a legislature removed from the purpose of their job and the patriotism flag they wave wholeheartedly when it serves their needs.” Harsh words from a passionate man.
Gillibrand responded to Stewart’s movement in a statement that said, “Jon Stewart and our first responders shouldn’t have to be in Washington walking the halls of Congress to keep the health care program running that our heroes need and deserve.”
The fact that it has not been reauthorized yet is not an indication that it won’t get signed considering the bill wasn’t initially passed until the last moment, but many supporters of the 9/11 workers are outraged by the lack of haste on the part of Congress considering how imperative the aid is to their health and financial need. As Stewart and over one hundred activists head to Washington D.C., THZ will keep you posted on the progress of their intentions.