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News report: Feds withholding $4 million from program treating FDNY’s 9/11 illnesses

Republican Rep. Pete King calls it "disgraceful" and is confronting administration officials to get money restored

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Republican Rep. Pete King from Long Island calls it “disgraceful”. King says he confronted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and will do the same with Vice President Mike Pence to get $4 million in federal contributions restored to a fund for treating and tracking FDNY members suffering from 9/11 related illnesses. According to Micahel McAuliff of the New York Daily News, Rep. King determined that the money was being withheld because of a a feud another New York agency — unrelated to FDNY — is having over Medicare.

Michael McAuliff, New York Daily News:

The payments were authorized and made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which oversees the program. But instead of sending the funds to the city, the Treasury started keeping some of the money.

“This was just disappearing,” the program’s director, Dr. David Prezant, told The News. “This is the most amazing thing. This was disappearing — without any notification.”

Prezant said he was docked about half a million dollars each year in 2016 and 2017. Then it crept up to about $630,000 in 2018 and 2019. This year, Treasury has nearly tripled its extractions, diverting $1.447 million through late August, according to Prezant.

“Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we’re not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes,” said Prezant, the FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer.

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