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Deaths From 9/11 Related Illnesses Will Soon Outnumber Deaths On Day Of Attacks

Sydney Brooman 11 Sep 2019

More than 2,700 people lost their lives at ground zero on September 11th 2001, but the death tole has continued to rise.

The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and World Trade Center Health Program released a report last year stating that more than 2,000 people have died of a 9/11-related illness since the attacks, and within the next two years, that number is expected to rise to over 2,800.

By the 20th anniversary of 9/11, more people will have died from a 9/11-related illness than at ground zero.

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The Seattle Times reported that the $7.3 billion allocated since 2001 to provide care for those who have been physically affected by the tragedy is already straining and will run out before every victim receives treatment.

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When talking about the effects of 9/11, explaining The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund is vital.

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The fund is responsible for "providing financial assistance to those suffering from illnesses caused by Ground Zero contaminants."

VCF Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya explained to the Seattle Times that there simply isn't enough money left to help every person who has been effected.

"We do periodic assessments of our data," she said, "The assessments create projections that will determine if the fund will be able to help everyone before it expires."

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For reference, the fund expires on Dec.18, 2020.

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"Looking at the data more recently," she continued, "I’m starting to get a little concerned."

9/11 advocate John Feal is confidant that despite the money running out, the fund will likely get renewed.

"I’m pretty confident that they will run out of money," he explained, "But I don’t think people should be concerned right now. I bet my one kidney that we will get the VCF extended."

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"There are diseases with long latency periods"

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Bhattacharyya explained that the most common 9/11 related illness is Mesothelioma.

"Mesothelioma is one that is talked about often," she states, "And you won’t even see it for 15 or 20 years. We won’t see those claims for a while."

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An estimated 400 tons of asbestos was used in the construction of the World Trade Center.

Unsplash | Gerrie van der Walt

Asbestos is the microscopic fiber that causes mesothelioma, and all 400 tons of it was released into the air when both towers collapsed.

The Seattle Times estimates that close to 2,100 people had died of a 9/11 -related illness as of 2018.

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To put that into perspective, that means that someone dies of a 9/11-related illness an average of every 2.7 days.

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Best estimates report that 90,000 first respondents showed up at the World Trade Center after the attack, and an additional 400,000 survivors lived in the area.

Out of these numbers, roughly 90,000 first responders and less than 20,000 civilians have registered with the World Trade Center Health Program.

This means than, potentially, hundreds of thousands of additional people could sign up for the program within the next few years.

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Those statistics were released a year ago. Now, these fears have become reality.

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Renewal of the The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund was taken to Congress earlier this year, with shockingly low attendance by members of congress.

Thankfully, after a particularly powerful statement from John Stewart, the House panel unanimously passed the 9/11 compensation fund.

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Eighteen years later, it seems as though 9/11 will continue to physically and psychologically effect millions of people.

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"(Congress) would love us not to go back," explains FDNY Chief Richard Alles, "They would love it to expire. If (Feal, Stewart and others) hadn’t been as tenacious as they are…they wouldn’t have passed it in the first place. They would have preferred not to deal with it."

h/t: The Seattle Times, Pix ll

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