Former host of “The Daily Show”, Jon Stewart recently made a guest appearance on his former Emmy award winning series, that he hosted from 1999 - 2015. The current “Daily Show” host, Trevor Noah replaced Jon in August. This wasn’t Stewart’s first appearance back on the show since Noah took over but, this time Jon was on a mission. Noah made it clear that Stewart can use the show as a platform to speak out to millions of viewers and told Jon, “My show is your show!” Noah was thrilled to support Stewart who has been on a mission pushing lawmakers to extend the Zadroga Health & Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act ensures that 9/11 first time responders get the treatment and health care services they need for extenuating issues related to 9/11.
There are over 33,000 9/11 first responders who have or still suffer from serious health complications directly related to being at ground zero. The illnesses range from sinus problems to lung cancer.
In 2009, the Zadroga Bill was born yet lawmakers refused to pass the bill.
It was in 2010, that Stewart went on a relentless mission. The “Daily Show” host made getting the bill passed a priority and even dedicated an entire episode to the cause by inviting four first responders who suffered from ongoing ailments to come on his show and share their personal stories.
Stewart says it was his personal connection to 9/11 that initially motivated him to support the cause. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Stewart and his family lived in Tribeca and essentially experienced day to day life in a war zone for the next decade. In 2010, Stewart’s efforts paid off. Lawmakers passed the Zadroga Bill with a five year life span. Several lawmakers even thanked Stewart for his dedication to the cause.
Unfortunately, the bill has expired since September 30.
Jon has picked up his mission once again and recently accompanied a group of 9/11 first responders to Washington, D.C. to face the government head on, asking them to do the right thing.
Stewart made an effort to invite all the first responders to appear on the Daily Show once again and was saddened to hear only one was healthy enough to attend.
Stewart has continued to be just as dedicated to the cause. While in D.C. he held a public press conference in hopes to convince senators to support the permanent extension of the Zadroga Act. Unfortunately, not one senator recognized Stewart’s attempt in person. Jon eventually chose to go public once again and discuss the topic last night on “The Daily Show” he said, “The people of Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders.” Stewart continued to publicly call out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep his promise and permanently extend the Zadroga Act.
To close out his recent “Daily Show” appearance, Stewart made an enthusiastic call to action and told viewers to utilize their social media resources and attract the attention of Congress, “Stop the f*ckery” he quipped. Stewart also instructed fans to start using the hashtag “#worstresponders.”