Laurie Garrett Profile picture
Former Sr Fellow @CFR_org. Recipient of Pulitzer Prize, Polk (2Xs) and Peabody Awards. Author: IHeard theSirensScream, TheComingPlague, Ebola & BetrayalofTrust.

Sep 11, 2018, 16 tweets

On 9/11 there are a few things I need to underscore.
1.) It came as no surprise to New Yorkers that #AlQaeda was responsible. I interviewed people as I made my way to Ground Zero that morning and EVERY one knew who was responsible.

To see much more, including photos:…

2.) There are many reasons why the Twin Towers collapsed, architecturally. But overlooked were the huge number of computer servers. In 2001 there was no secure cloud storage, and floor after floor were filled with hot data towers.

3.) Shortly after 9/11 the White House ordered @EPA director Todd-Whitman to say the air was safe to breathe, despite the burning pile of crushed towers, and there was no asbestos problem. The WH atty who ordered this had previously rep'ed asbestos manufacturers.

4.) There was a classic World Trade Center Cough suffered by ppl who were near Ground Zero or lived downwind of the ash & plume in Brooklyn. It was a dry, nonproductive cough, produced by throat, lung & esophagus irritation. Nothing about it was normal.

[cont 4] Sufferers of acute WTC Cough generally have gone on to develop a wide range of ailments, all over their bodies, including tumors.
5.) The cause of WTC Cough was alkali-wrapped microparticles, especially glass. The WTC was made of limestone, steel & glass

[cont 5] and the pH of the ash & plume got above 13 -- that's lye. All natural explosive events are acidic, & body has mechanisms for expelling acid-wrapped particles. But not so, for highly alkali. Bits of glass & steel & computers insinuated into lungs, & then

[cont 5] passed to other tissues. Wherever the alkali-coated bits went, damage followed, slowly, but surely.
6.) Some of the insinuated particles were asbestos. There was also a carcinogenic molecule produced by pressure + burning computers -- a chemical never seen before.

7.) The response of "average New Yorkers" on 9/11 was nothing short of mass scale heroism. I encountered people that day that rescued strangers, hauled cases of water to the area to wash ash from faces, opened their homes to the needy, raced to Red Cross to give blood..

[cont 7] I weep with pride recalling the heroic and compassionate acts I witnessed on 9/11. Strangers, coming to the aid of strangers, across all boundaries of gender, class, age, race, religion. The same was seen in London, Madrid, Paris when they were attacked: Humanity.

8.) The White House decided to define the health aspects of the 9/11 WTC attacks as limited to 1st responders + workers & residents of the tip of Manhattan, all below Canal St. This contained the size & scope of investigation & excluded Brooklyn -- where the plume went.

9.) As a result, the epidemiology of 9/11 & post-attack 4 months of burning & plume is skewed to a fraction of those affected, and is missing many, such as immigrant clean-up workers & undocumented employees of eateries & companies downtown. We will never know scope

[cont 9] of post-9/11 health disaster. Today a spokesperson for FDNY said more 1st responders have died from exposure to WTC dust & plume than ppl perished in the buildings. It's horrible, but likely is true.
10.) I spent 8 yrs documenting all of this and writing it up

[cont 10] but the book never got seriously reviewed or sold. By the time it came out in 2011 the world was tired of hearing about 9/11, ailing firefighters, anthrax and everything else that happened.

[cont 10] But you don't know "resilience" until you read how NYers handled 9/11/2001 to 9/11/2002.
11.) Stop thanking #RudyGiuliani for his "heroism" -- the leader hat pulled us out of despair & devastation was @MikeBloomberg -- no is, ands, or buts about it.

Sorry for the typos -- that Bloomberg praise should read
NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT - @MikeBloomberg deserves the credit for pulling New York out of the grief and despair of 9/11 + anthrax and rebuilding the city.
Thanks, Mike.

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