She testifies in front of Congress Monday.
Former Environmental Protection Agency boss Christie Whitman says she urged Ground Zero workers to wear respirators, but then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani blocked her efforts.
She also said city officials didn't want EPA workers wearing haz-mat suits because they "didn't want this image of a city falling apart."
Whitman also criticized Giuliani's handling of a suspected anthrax attack at NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters weeks after 9/11.
"There was concern by the city that EPA workers not be seen in the haz-mat suits," she said. "They didn't want this image of a city falling apart. I said, 'Well, that's not acceptable.'"
Giuliani's former Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota rejected Whitman's claims.
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, you blow so much poisonous hot air, I'm surprised the whole city isn't stampeding Gas Masks R Us right this minute.
It was obvious on September 11, 2001 that the air was toxic. It was obvious that people would suffer from the effects of the very visible pollution. And "America's Mayor" was no hero, just someone who was forced to walk down the streets of New York because he had nowhere else to go...since his Office of Emergency Management was conveniently located on the 23rd floor of Number 7 World Trade Center. By choice.
This particular story has haunted me since that day, exactly because of what we'll very likely hear on Monday.