Santos invites 9/11 ground zero rescue worker to State of the Union
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has invited a former firefighter who helped with rescue operations at the World Trade Center on 9/11 as a guest to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Santos reportedly said on the House floor on Monday that he invited Michael Weinstock, a Democrat who once ran for the House seat Santos holds, to join him for the address.
Weinstock told The New York Times that he was invited by Santos two weeks ago and accepted the invitation because he has a neurological condition connected to his service as an emergency worker and he wants to raise awareness for those in similar situations.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to stay focused enough on the issue of 9/11 responders receiving the health care that they need without being sullied by George Santos,” Weinstock said.
Santos has faced widespread controversy over revelations that many of the claims he has made about his personal, educational and professional background were false. These include a claim that his mother was in one of the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11, though immigration records reportedly show she was not in the country in 2001.
Santos’ statements that his mother supposedly died as a result of the 9/11 attacks came under scrutiny in late December, after a journalist noted that he tweeted in July 2021 that 9/11 “claimed” his mother’s life but posted that December that it was the five-year anniversary of his mother’s death.
Santos has said he did not ever intend to say that his mother died in the World Trade Center, but rather that she died from cancer after being in the building.
Weinstock was a volunteer firefighter from 1990 to 2001 and said his condition came from inhaling pollutants while near the rubble of the World Trade Center, according to the Times.
He told the outlet that he lost his job at his law firm last week over his decision to be Santos’ guest at the State of the Union.
The Times reported that members of Congress usually get one ticket to bring a guest to the address.
The Hill has reached out to Santos for comment.
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