Another travesty: City interrupts wake to take back corpse of 9/11 first responder

The family of NYPD policeman George Wong--who recently passed away at age 48 from what was determined to be a 9/11-related illness--was set to pay their respects at a wake when, 10 minutes before the ceremony was to begin, workers from the Medical Examiner's office entered and took the body back.

Apparently, the NYC Department of Health wasn't happy with the conclusion of Wong's doctor re the cause of his death, and exerted pressure to have the Medical Examiner's office examine his remains some more. In the end, the death certificate was changed to identifiy the cause of death as 'pending.'

Oh, how I wish I were making this up:

'The city's official policy remains that there is no conclusive link between exposure to Ground Zero toxins and "emerging illnesses, including cancer," said Health Department spokeswoman Susan Craig.

'...Only after any mention of 9/11 was scrubbed from his death certificate was the family allowed to collect the body yesterday -- at their own expense.'

Where potential liabilities are concerned, the behavior of the New York City government seems to know no bounds.

And in the meantime, we're all just supposed to join them in pretending not to see any 'conclusive link' between the post-9/11 toxicity at Ground Zero and the litany of illnesses suffered by 9/11 first resonders.


One correction I'd like to make: Per the NY Post article, it was not (as I wrote in the post above) the Medical Examiner who initially wrote 9/11-related illness as cause of death on the death certificate, but Wong's hospice doctor.

More coverage

Thanks. One of the comments there included a link to the NY Times coverage of this same incident:

sickness of first responders

there doesn;t seem to be any comment section at the nyt site or i would have noted the 900 plus(?) first responders who have died.'seemingly'? from 9/11 related illnesses. isn;t someone keeping track of the ages of these people and their illnesses. the nyt might/should have noted this, but instead mentions that (a deceptively low number imo) 43 or so have died thusly.