Memo to Rudy Giuliani:
    Ground Zero health problems

Giuliani stressed speed over safety in cleaning up the World Trade Center after 9/11. Mt. Sinai Hospital in NY screened almost 10,000 Ground Zero recovery workers; 70% had trouble breathing. There’s a lawsuit. Hizzonor is refusing to comment to reporters. This is trouble.

You can’t duck this one.

I’d earlier expressed skepticism about the extent of the health hazards near Ground Zero. But if 7000 out of 10,000 recovery workers screened at Mt. Sinai had trouble breathing, they must have been extreme. And if you were really ignoring federal officials who understood the problem and neglecting safety precautions, while telling contractors and individual workers that delays would get them fired from the job, you got some ‘splainin’ to do. Lobbying for a cap on the liability of the city government, but ignoring the needs of the folks who got hurt doing the job, really doesn’t look good.

“Refusing to be interviewed” just doesn’t cut it. If the truth is intolerable &#8212 which may well be the case &#8212 then figure out a good, simple lie and stick with it. But with a lawsuit coming up this summer, the issue simply isn’t going to go away.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: