Cancer-Stricken NYPD Detective Rips House in Harrowing 9/11 Fund Appeal: ‘I Should Not Be Here, But You Made Me Come’
Retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez angrily testified before Congress Tuesday to defend 9/11 responders and survivors in light of an expiring 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
On Wednesday, Alvarez said, he is scheduled to receive his 69th chemo treatment.
“I should not be here with you, but you made me come, you made me come because I will not stand by while friends with cancer from 9/11 are valued any less,” he said. “I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to have 68 rounds of chemo, many others haven’t had the opportunity to have five and some have had none.”
Alvarez said he considered himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to go through the pain and suffering of so many treatments, but considers it his legacy to see that Congress do the right thing for all 9/11 responders.
In 2015 lawmakers secured treatment for 9/11 responders for 75 years, but they only allocated $7 billion, meant to last through 2020. Those funds are already running out.
“You all said that you would never forget. Well, I’m here to make sure that you don’t,” said Alvarez.
The New York Post reported in August of 2018 that nearly 10,000 people had gotten cancer from toxic dust they had been exposed to during 9/11. Of those responders on the front line at Ground Zero, 420 have since died of cancer. Alvarez’s cancer is tied to his time spent searching rooftops for victims after the towers fell and trying to salvage the remains of fellow members of the NYPD and FDNY.
“I’ve been to many places in this world and done many things, but I can tell you I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground 0 when we were there.” Alvarez concluded to a standing ovation.
The testimony precedes a vote set for Wednesday for a new extension bill sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Nadler in his testimony accused the federal government of lying to New Yorkers, telling them the area surrounding Ground Zero was “safe” when it had not been properly cleaned in the weeks following the attack. As a result, thousands have suffered the consequences, he said.
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