MANHATTAN — Survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks who are suffering from cancer shouldn't count out medical coverage from the Zadroga bill just yet, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.
Although a review of current research by the WTC Health Program Cancer Working Group released this week found insufficient evidence to support a causal link between exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero and cancer, the mayor said he is confident that future studies will prove that wrong.
Just because there was "insufficient medical evidence... that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It just means that the studies, scientifically… don’t prove conclusively," he told WOR's John Gambling during his weekly radio sit-down.
“There are a number of other studies go on. The city’s doing one. And we sort of think that eventually the evidence will be there to show the direct link, and that the monies will flow,” he said.
As a result of the most recent report, cancer will not be added to the list of conditions covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, which provides medical benefits to people impacted by the attacks.
The decision has drawn outrage from some survivors who slammed the decision as unjust.
The mayor defended the report and its author, John Howard, whom he praised as having “a phenomenally great reputation" — even though he thinks future studies might have different outcomes.
“There is a standard of proof," he said, that needs to be met.
“The doctors did what the law requires and good science requires,” he said. “You have to live with the law and whatever science says. You can’t have your own facts."
The Zadroga Bill requires a periodic review of scientific evidence to determine whether cancer should be added to the list of 9/11-related health conditions.
A second review is set to be conducted in early- to mid-2012.
"We're trying to get more evidence to show what we think is the case," the mayor said.