Home > Uncategorized > Dying Jersey Guy Recalls Whitman 9-11 Remarks – “She’s a Liar”

Dying Jersey Guy Recalls Whitman 9-11 Remarks – “She’s a Liar”

Post 9/11 Lies About Public Health Risks Were Not Whitman’s First

Whitman Has No Regrets For Her Lies That People Died Following

Christie Whitman testifies before the House Judiciary Committee to defend  her post 9/11 EPA actionsremarks

Christie Whitman testifies before the House Judiciary Committee to defend her post 9/11 EPA actions and remarks

As all the 9-11 memorial remembrances go down, I want to be sure that there is one story that is not forgotten. Thousands of workers who responded to Ground Zero are dying.

Here are the words of one hero, a Jersey Guy named Joe Picurro, from Toms River. Joe  worked on the pile and as a result has a fatal lung disease and not long to live:

I mean, we were there for them when they needed us. And, you know, they told us – Christine Whitman stood there, and I don’t care what she says about it. She said the pile was different. She’s a liar. I was standing there. She did not say that the air was different on the pile. She stood on the pile with her mask below her neck and talked to us and told us we were heroes and said the air was fine, and she put the mask back on, and she got back in her car, and she left, you know, and went back to New Jersey where it was safe. So she’s a liar, and that’s all she is. [full transcript of interview here]

Today’s “Democracy Now! covered the story:

AMY GOODMAN: Joe Picurro was one of thousands of men and women who showed up at Ground Zero on September 11th to help with the rescue and recovery efforts. He was thirty-four years old at the time.

Now Joe is dying. His doctor has told him he has the lungs of a ninety-five-year-old. His lungs are so inflamed from all the tiny particles of glass and even human bone fragments lodged in them that every breath produces excruciating pain. He’s been unable to work for the last five years and takes thirty-seven different medicines.

Christie Whitman was called before the House Judiciary Committee to defend her remarks post 9-11. I was at that hearing and spoke with several emergency responders. Here’s an excerpt of today’s interview with Joe that recall that hearing:

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I want to play a short excerpt from a 2007 congressional hearing when the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christie Todd Whitman, denied misleading the public over environmental dangers after 9/11. Whitman and John Henshaw, the former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, were questioned by Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

REP. JERROLD NADLER: In a series of EPA press releases beginning on September 13th, the following words were used to describe the air conditions: “good news,” “causes no concern”, “not detectable,” “no significant health risk”, and “safe to breathe”. Ms. Whitman, do these words and phrases convey a sense of danger or even of caution? Or do they, in fact, convey a sense of safety and security?

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: Mr. Chairman, those words, to the best of my recollection, in every effort that I made at the time, were also added with the phrase, however, on the pile it is different.

REP. JERROLD NADLER: Well, we’ll get to that.

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: And that – but there’s a significant difference. The readings we were getting of air quality at the time, general”

REP. JERROLD NADLER: Excuse me. We will get to that. Please. We only have a few minutes. Answer my questions. Do they convey a sense of safety and security or a sense of caution?

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: They should – they convey exactly what they were meant to convey.

REP. JERROLD NADLER: OK.

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: Those were the readings we were getting from the scientists.

REP. JERROLD NADLER: Do you regret your repeated assurances the air was safe to breathe?

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: I do not regret repeating what the scientists said was appropriate.

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