A former NYPD officer who was forced to retire due to 9/11-related cancer has written a scathing Op-Ed for the New York Daily News, taking Sen. Ted Cruz to task for what he regards as hypocritical statements about law enforcement. In a post dated February 2, 2016, Fred Krines writes:
“[Cruz] can’t call himself a supporter of New York City’s police officers when he voted against the Zadroga Bill. Cruz talks of New York City values! Those were the same values that brought first responders to the scene of the nation’s worst terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Those are the values that resulted in the death of 23 brave New York City police officers that day in the collapse of the World Trade Center, and the hundreds more who are sick, dying or already dead from exposure to toxic chemicals.
“I number myself among those who are still fighting the 9/11-related cancer that forced me to retire.
“… Ted Cruz and others showed their respect for our sacrifice by refusing to help us obtain the medical care we need.
“That doesn’t sound like support to me.
“It is hypocritical for any elected official who voted against the Zadroga Bill to claim that they support police officers and other first responders. …
“From the outpouring of sympathy, help, and prayers from people across our great country, we know that Americans supported the Zadroga Bill to help all of the first responders.
“Ted Cruz failed to do so. And he does not get to call himself a supporter of NYC police officers or any 9/11 responder.”
It bears mentioning that Zadroga reauthorization passed as part of an omnibus spending bill that many Republicans found excessive in light of the current $19 trillion debt. It’s theoretically possible that someone who supported Zadroga felt compelled to vote against the omnibus. But Sen. Cruz did not lend his support to the bill when it was offered as stand-alone legislation. He was not among the co-sponsors of the Zadroga Act Reauthorization Bill, which had 23 Republican co-sponsors in the Senate, including noted conservatives Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Cruz’s rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio of Florida.
As advocates for WTC responders and survivors, we’ve seen the devastation the 9/11 attacks caused. We’re disheartened to think that someone who does not demonstrate empathy for these Americans could very soon occupy the highest office in the land. In fairness, we reached out to Sen. Cruz’s campaign to give him an opportunity to clarify his position on Zadroga benefits, but received no response.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Zadroga Act benefits, call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421 or contact our office online.