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Blumenthal: Trump’s Budget Endangers 9/11 Responder Health Program

Natalie Cioffari
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaking at a West Haven Fire Department station on Wednesday. Blumenthal was there to speak out against the Trump administration's proposal to restructure the World Trade Center Health Program.

President Trump’s budget proposal calls for a restructuring of the World Trade Center Health Program that provides medical treatment to 9/11 first responders and survivors.

The proposal would move the program, now housed under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to the National Institutes of Health. Doing so would save $134 million.

However, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., says it would disrupt health care for over 82,000 first responders and survivors who are still in need of support, including 500 in Connecticut.

“This dismantling and disruption will affect both monitoring and treatment because the skill set, leadership, managerial expertise will be lost to the program. The supposed reorganization in effect leaves it as a shell without expertise and leadership. And that is dismantling, certainly disrupting, this program when it was guaranteed by the legislation…for 75 years.”

Blumenthal was speaking at a fire house in West Haven on Wednesday to a crowd that included 9/11 first responders.

Blumenthal, along with Senators Schumer and Gillibrand of New York and Senators Booker and Menendez of New Jersey, sent a letter to the Trump administration, demanding it withdraw the proposal.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.