Jon Stewart makes emotional speech after the passing 9/11 first responders bill
After the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund reauthorisation bill was passed by the US Senate - following a lengthy process of debate and filibustering - comedian Jon Stewart has delivered an emotional speech praising the first responders.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill on Friday, July 26, which will help provide funding to pay for the health care costs of 9/11 first responders until the year 2092.
Stewart has long been an advocate for 9/11 first responders, and another impassioned speech of his went viral in June after he harshly criticised a house meeting due to the seeming lack of interest and sparse attendance.
Watch Jon Stewart's emotional speech about the bill in the video below:
Stewart stated: "We can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country, but we can stop penalizing them, and today is that day that they can exhale. Unfortunately, the pain and suffering of what these heroes continue to go through is going to continue."
He added: "There have been too many funerals, too many hospices, and these families deserve better. I’m hopeful that today begins the process of being able to heal without the burden of having to advocate."
Stewart went on to cite examples of first responders who have lost their lives due to respiratory problems and other ailments they sustained as a result of their selfless rescue work - such as Ray Pfeifer, Luis Alvarez, and John Feal.
As a result of the collapse of the World Trade Centre, thousands of tons of toxic debris were spread across Lower Manhattan, much of which was highly carcinogenic and harmful. A 2011 report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that approximately 18,000 people were affected by toxic dust on September 11, 2001.