Smith asked Stewart who could possibly be against such funding, then, looking into the camera, addressed viewers, “If it’s one of your representatives in Congress or the Senate, we’ll be writing them down and telling you, I promise you that.”
Smith’s pledge came during a segment in which Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, appeared on Shepard Smith Today along with fellow advocates John Feal of the FealGood Foundation and retired deputy chief of the FDNY Richard Alles.
With the 17th anniversary of 9/11 coming up on Tuesday, the trio are reminding responders there’s still time to sign up for the compensation fund, and to get an early start on lobbying Congress to renew the fund in 2020.
Stewart called the still-lingering health threats from the toxic cloud at Ground Zero “a ticking time bomb,” and reminded that people are still dying from the 9/11 attacks. Added Feal, “on average, we lose somebody every 2.7 days,” with more than 10,000 people certified as suffering 9/11 cancers.
Or “cancers on steroid,” as Alles said during the interview (pre-taped earlier this week). Pressed by Smith on who could be against funding, Feal pointed the finger at Republican Party leadership.
“Every September 11, all these elected officials…come out and say ‘We’ll never forget 9/11, we’ll always remember our heroes,'” said Feal. “That’s B.S.”
Stewart, recalling a 9/11 responder who died after lobbying for the establishment of the compensation bill, said he hopes the fund renewal effort won’t “waste the precious time with families” of other responders.
“Can’t we, this time, finally, give them some peace,” asked Stewart. “That’s all.”
Smith capped the segment by praising Stewart’s activism.