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Indeed, in this case it took several months before responders began to complain. Now some say they were afflicted at the time; but they didn’t then. As such, it’s a direct parallel to Gulf War Syndrome, in which no complaints were registered until long after the war ended.
Another pattern is that suggestions that people are suffering environmental illness can wreak havoc on huge numbers of people.
In the Serbian province of Kosovo in 1990, for example, at least 4,000 residents suffered a mystery illness that included headache, dizziness, hyperventilation, weakness, burning sensations, cramps, chest pain and nausea. It began at a single high school and rapidly spread to dozens of schools in the province. Observed researchers: “An outbreak of respiratory infection within a single class appears to have triggered fears that Serbs may have dispensed poison.” They hadn’t.
Rumors of Israeli-spread poison gas caused a similar mass outbreak of illness among West Bank Palestinians in 1983.
THAT BRINGS US TO perhaps the most distressing aspect of the WTC outbreak.
In addition to the trauma experienced at the WTC site, the best explanation for these ills is that they have been induced by the media and select scientists who steadily beat the drum insisting responders ought to be sick. The bastion of these scientists since 2002 has been — surprise! — Mount Sinai.
A co-author of this study, Dr. Philip Landrigan at Mount Sinai, is the probably the nation’s leading proponent of environmental illness. Another co-author, Jeanne Stellman, has been an influential (and heavily criticized) advocacy researcher on Agent Orange and dioxin since 1986.
Mount Sinai and the sycophantic media are no friends of those brave men and women who rushed to the World Trade Center on 9/11 or helped in the cleanup; they are their tormenters.
Our heroes deserve our compassion and help for their WTC-related illnesses, whether psychogenic or not. But true compassion begins with informing them there is no scientific evidence indicating they should be sicker than anyone else.