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Giuliani Updates Reporters on New York's Condition

Aired September 27, 2001 - 16:08   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Mayor Giuliani talking to reporters in New York City.

MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI, (R), NEW YORK: First of all, on the traffic, we tried our approach to no single-occupancy vehicles, 63rd Street South on the exits and entrances to the city. And I think we've figured out how to do it. I think it helped to do it on a light day, like today, so we'll be doing it tomorrow. And tomorrow it will include the Lincoln Tunnel. We made an exception for the Lincoln Tunnel, because the governor of New Jersey didn't think there was sufficient notice for the people in New Jersey, and we agreed with that, so we exempted the Lincoln Tunnel today.

Tomorrow, however, no single occupancy vehicles will be allowed to come in from 63rd Street South. So I think I have them all now. It's the Queensboro 59th Street Bridge that this applies to, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, the Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridges and the Lincoln Tunnel.

So people just try to use public transportation, if they can. That would be enormously helpful. We expect that tomorrow will be a very crowded day, so you can make life easy for yourself, for us and for everyone else if you use public transportation. And if employers can do this, if they can stagger hours of their employees if they have a large number of employees, that's probably going to help. Have some employees come in early. Have some employees come in a little later. Have some go home earlier and later. That would all, I think, make everything move not fast, but a little bit better.

And please be patient. If you need to be patient -- if you need to figure out how to acquire the virtue of patience, which is one that doesn't come naturally to me, the way to do it is to think about the terrible tragedy that other people are living through, which is a heck of a lot less than just your being somewhat patient.


GIULIANI: Very patient.

So I empathize with the people that are inpatient, but you really have to try to acquire a certain degree of understanding that there are a lot of people going through things a lot worse than you are, if you're, kind of, stuck in traffic. The numbers -- let me see if I can explain the numbers. We now have 4,620 people who have been registered at the family center, who have registered missing people at the family center.

The police department missing person report is now 5,960, as a result of going through the report, removing duplicates, and also in some cases actually finding people, particularly foreign nationals, who have been reported missing but were actually somewhere in the United States, and consuls and others were confused about their not having reported in or reported to their families.

So if you use those two numbers, 4,620 that have registered people at the family center -- which has to be a pretty accurate bottom number for the number that are missing, at least that number -- and at this point we're at 5,960 missing persons -- that number may go down a little -- if you're trying to figure out what the missing persons ultimately will be, it's probably somewhere in there.

We have 8,786 people that have reported injuries. The number of dead has risen to 305 confirmed dead, and 238 identified, of which 51 are uniformed personnel: 43 fire, and then five Port Authority, two civilian EMTs, and one New Jersey firefighter.

We had a large number filing for death certificates yesterday, and it looks like by the end of today, even more today. Three hundred and five filed yesterday. Two hundred and sixty had filed up to an hour ago today a the family center, for a total of 565 that have filed for death certificates.

And, from what I can tell, the process is very sensitive and very well-handled. And I want to thank very much the lawyers who volunteered and the notary publics and the others for doing this, because they truly are wonderful people. Because they are handling this, I think, in a way that not only helps the families get the death certificate, but they help the families with the process of dealing with this.

To give you a sense of what the people at the family center are doing, so far today, and this is as of an hour ago, we had 1,131 families that went to the family center for services up to an hour ago today -- 1,131. So the people over there, the work they're doing is, in a different way, as heroic and as difficult as the people who are involved in the rescue and recovery and relief mission.

I just think of the human tragedy and difficulties and problems they're dealing with, which range from the death certificates that I mentioned, to try to figure out how somebody can file for insurance or try to figure out how somebody can determine if their children can get help with trying to bring services in for adoption, in some cases.

So it's really just beautiful, beautiful work that they're doing. And I want to congratulate them and thank them and they deserve the same recognition that the rescue and relief workers get.

There's confusion about cameras. Maybe if I say it publicly, everybody will understand it, including those who may not understand what the restriction is and what it isn't. Cameras are not allowed inside the restricted area, unless they're authorized -- unless it's an authorized camera for crime scene purposes, for assessing building structures and removal and recovery or, in some cases, press if they're allowed in for a particular purpose. People are not allowed to be carrying cameras around for pleasure, for fun or for profit.

And the reason for that is, we have now significant numbers of family members going. They started yesterday. I went with Rowe (ph) with the first group, I think we had three groups of family members -- civilian family members go yesterday.

We've been taking firefighter families there for several days. They don't want pictures taken of them grieving and mourning, and unfortunately there are people that are ghoulish enough to not only want to do that, but want to do it for commercial profit, and it's a crime scene and it's also a dangerous area. So that's the reason why no cameras are allowed inside unless authorized.

And also, to try to maintain the seriousness and the respect of that place so it doesn't become a place in which people take pictures and then start selling them on the Internet and doing all kinds of other things. I would think we could try to have more decorum than that.

On the outside, obviously, people can take cameras. In some cases, it's been reported that some cameras were seized outside the zone; not allowed to do that. You might want to tell somebody if they're trying outside to take pictures inside of a family member grieving, that maybe they are something less than a human being, but they are entitled to that. They're entitled to do that, and we have no right to stop them from doing it. They have to make their own judgment about whether it's decent, tasteful or exactly why they're taking pictures.

So just so it's clear: Inside the zone, cannot use cameras unless authorized. Cameras will be seized if you have them inside the zone and you don't have authorization. Outside the zone, we, meaning the police, the National Guard, state police, have no right to take cameras. So just in case anybody's confused about that.

I want to thank very much the people of Augusta, Georgia. I don't know if Mayor Young is here yet; I was waiting for him. He met with me a little earlier. And the people of Augusta, Georgia, have raised over $1 million and the people of Columbia County, Georgia, together, I think it comes to about $1.2 million altogether when you count all of the other checks and everything else.

And they raised it in all different ways, including firefighters going out and just going out on the street and raising money from people. And the money is to assist the families and the victims and everybody else that's been affected by this.

It was a beautiful and wonderful thing to do. And it gives, I think, all of the people of New York and New Jersey and all of us that are very affected by this, the sense that we are really very embraced and very cared for and that we're, as Americans, all dealing with this.

I want to remind small businesses that there is a $250 million loan fund. It was announced the other day, and we'll put out the numbers. The city, you might recall, is contributing $25 million and the state is contributing $25 million, and the rest will be privately funded from banks. And that is for small businesses who need loans at very low interest rates in order to get by through this period of time. And the loans can be done in three days or less. In some cases, people are waiting for SBA loans, they may take longer. There's this city-state fund that can accomplish that, and I'll get out the number for it.

And finally on the removal, we've removed 128,050 tons so far -- 8,606 truck loads of debris.

And also my -- I've tried and the commissioner has -- we've tried to go to as many funerals and wakes as possible, because it really is helpful when the people who are going through this have a real show of support. Tomorrow there are going to be a lot of different funerals and memorial services, and already on Saturday there are 16 that are taking place in the metropolitan area.

So if you can put out information about them, maybe people in the community can come and be there and be supportive. It really does help the family members to see that there are a lot of people there, because it says something to them about the kind of support they have and the kind of support they're going to have going forward to bring up their children.

WOODRUFF: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani giving an update on the number of victims of the World Trade Center collapse, also talking about cameras not being permitted. In general, giving reporters an update as he has been doing every day since September the 11th.




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