Did the Trump Management Withhold Cash From FDNY 9/11 Well being Fund?

The 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults on New York Town got here with information that left many feeling outraged: The Trump management had reportedly withheld cash from a well being care fund devoted to New York Town firefighters who had suffered from well being issues on account of their life-saving reaction to the International Industry Middle.

The tale got here from a New York Day-to-day Information scoop dated Sept. 10, 2020, reporting that the U.S. Division of Treasury had withheld an estimated $four million from the FDNY International Industry Middle Well being Program. It went viral around the web as many venerated the anniversary of the assault.

It’s true that the Trump management has been withholding cash from this system, the results of what seems to be a bureaucratic blunder — particularly, the best way the Division of Treasury tracks and collects on money owed owed to the government.

In a letter dated Aug. 20, 2020, despatched to U.S. Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., the treasury division stated that almost $2 million were withheld between August 2016 and Might 2020 on account of money owed owed via New York Town to the government.

The letter was once despatched to King in keeping with an inquiry via the congressman, asking why price range for this system had been being withheld.

The Division of Treasury’s letter to King mentioned that the dep.’s Bureau of Fiscal Provider is needed to “offset federal bills for the number of antisocial money owed owed to america.” The Treasury Division’s program to offset such money owed makes use of a Taxpayer Id Quantity (TIN) to hyperlink payees and borrowers.

“Some payees — akin to New York Town — use a unmarried TIN for lots of in their subdivisions, which may end up in a cost for one part of the payee being matter to offset for a debt via any other part of the payee,” the letter mentioned. “That’s what took place on this case.”

FDNY Leader Scientific Officer Dr. David Prezant, who additionally directs the affected 9/11 first responders’ well being program, advised the Day-to-day Information that the quantity docked from this system through the years was once within the vary of $four million, now not $2 million:

Prezant stated he was once docked about part 1,000,000 greenbacks every yr in 2016 and 2017. Then it crept as much as about $630,000 in 2018 and 2019. This yr, Treasury has just about tripled its extractions, diverting $1.447 million via past due August, in line with Prezant.

Prezant additionally advised the Day-to-day Information that he has been seeking to get a solution from the government and the town for years as to why the cash was once being withheld, however won no reaction till King intervened.

The investment factor turned into pressing with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of whilst the town has been fronting the cash for the 9/11 program that was once withheld via the government, New York is now cash-strapped because of the coronavirus, the Day-to-day Information reported.

“The cash that we don’t get implies that physicians, nurses and make stronger team of workers don’t seem to be employed. Now we have now not needed to lay off any individual, but, however we’re at that breaking point,” Prezant advised the Day-to-day Information.

We reached out to Prezant for remark however didn’t listen again in time for e-newsletter. We additionally requested the Division of Treasury what was once being accomplished to treatment the placement and didn’t obtain a solution in time for e-newsletter.

A complete of two,977 folks died on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers flew jetliners into the International Industry Middle’s Dual Towers and the Pentagon. The assault took an extremely heavy toll on New York’s firefighters, 343 of whom died after working into the burning skyscrapers in Decrease Long island, seeking to rescue folks when the structures collapsed.

After the assaults, many first responders turned into in poor health from the publicity that day to poisonous components launched into the air via the crumbling structures, in addition to sustained nerve-racking accidents and psychological well being scars. Two FDNY firefighters died inside of an afternoon of one another in December 2019 on account of sicknesses they suffered from responding to the scene of the terrorist assault.

About the author

Matt Drange

Matt Drange

Matt Drange covers technology and startups in Silicon Valley. He was previously a staff writer but gradually moved up in the ranks and became senior editor. He earned a master's degree from the Columbia Journalism School, and has won numerous national and local journalism awards.

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