Meghan McCain said she thinks about the late 9/11 first responder Luis Alvarez's son "almost every day" on "The View" Tuesday as the co-hosts discussed comments President Donald Trump made during the signing of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund bill.
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Trump signed the bipartisan bill into law on Monday morning during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House in which he claimed, “I was down there also. But I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there, I spent a lot of time down there with you.”
Many first responders to Ground Zero expressed skepticism of these claims, co-host Whoopi Goldberg said on "The View" Tuesday.
During the show, McCain looked back on Alvarez's final interview before his death. Alvarez died on June 29 from a 9/11-related cancer, according to the New York Police Department's Chief Dermot F. Shea.
The cancer developed 16 years after breathing in the toxic dust at Ground Zero, leaving him with a failing liver and in hospice care, where he shared his final message to the public on June 20 in an interview with Fox News.
"It's not fair," Alvarez said with his son, David Alvarez, by his side. "My son David; he was 11 years-old on 9/11. He's 29 years old now, and I'm leaving him without a father. I also have two other sons, Tyler and Ben...I'm leaving them without a father. And there's plenty like me."
McCain lost her father, Vietnam war hero and former Sen. John McCain, in August 2018, and related to the pain that the Alvarez family has been going through.
"He was only 53 years old. I know I talk about my dad a lot but being someone in their 30s that lost their father, I could not stop crying," McCain said about her reaction after watching the Alvarez's interview. "It's not about me, but I think of his son almost every day now.
"To sit there and act like our president has any kind of experience like the Alvarez family and what they went through and are going through," McCain continued. "If we could just have some respect for people who did the hardest jobs on one of the most horrific days in history."
David Alvarez, who is the oldest of the sons, spoke about his father's heroism during his funeral service on July 3.
"Before he became an American hero, he was mine," David Alvarez said. "The one [who] above all I wanted to make proud."
"Growing up I'd be told by family members that I was just like my dad. I laugh like him, I smile like him, I walk like him, I'm quiet and stubborn like he was," he said. "I always took it as compliments...because I always looked up to my dad, always wanted to be like him."
Days before his liver began to fail, Luis Alvarez fought for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and testified before Congress, urging lawmakers to extend the fund that many first responders depend on to pay their medical bills.
"I did not want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero," Luis Alvarez told Congress. "This fund is not a ticket to paradise. It's there to provide to our families when we aren't there."
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