Susan Vento’s husband, longtime U.S. congressman Bruce Vento, died of mesothelioma nearly 15 years ago, but Susan’s fight against asbestos has never been more urgent than it is today.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Journalist
As a young girl growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Heather Von St. James loved wearing her Daddy’s work coat, the type that she could wrap her whole body inside. It was one of those large construction jackets and was often covered with white flecks of dust. There was something about wearing it that made her feel closer to him, as if he was enveloping her instead of four pounds of nylon. Whenever she had chores outside––whether to feed her rabbits or fetch the mail––she would slip it on and head out to brave the bitter northern cold.
In early 2012, reports circulated detailing some of the profit-centered entitlement raids that occurred at Bain Capital under Republican Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance became intrigued when asbestos industry defendants appeared on a list of these types of corporate liquidations and commissioned a three-month investigation of the company’s handling of GS Industries through journalist, Gary Cohn. What we uncovered is the true human tragedy of collateral damage stemming from this profit model. We found a community affected by decades of toxic exposure, gasping for breath while picking up the pieces among an uncertain future.
For mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease victims, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should mean lifesaving medical coverage, according to Linda Reinstein, a mesothelioma widow and the co-founder and president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
Asia is heading for a huge jump in asbestos-related diseases in the coming decades, according to numerous scientific studies and two of the world’s most prominent experts on public health and asbestos exposure. Not surprisingly, the consequences are expected to be felt most severely in India and China, two emerging economies and most populous countries in the world.
Welcome to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Investigations department! We could not be more excited to unveil this new area of our blogging community. Below is an introductory message from the newest member of our blogging community; MCA Investigations lead reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gary Cohn.