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US Human Services Chief Promises Help for NY Victims - 2001-09-14

The top human services official in the United States, Tommy Thompson, has toured the scene of Tuesday's terror attack in New York saying the federal government will provide as much assistance as necessary.

New York city has already been officially declared a "disaster area" and Mr. Thompson, Secretary of the Department of health and Human Services, was here to determine what type of immediate aid is needed. After consulting with local officials, Mr. Thompson said he is taking two steps to deal with both physical and mental health problems.

"We are going to provide as much assistance as necessary to make sure that the children, the families, get the necessary counseling and treatment," Mr. Thompson said. " I also had the opportunity to talk to the mayor about getting people from the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, to come here to do testing on air and water to make sure that we can protect the public health."

Mr. Thompson said his department will also be offering both supplies and personnel to New York hospitals. The federal government will soon open a special office in New York to provide an ongoing source of health and human services assistance.