Borja, 52, was on life support at Mount Sinai Hospital while his family tried to get him on the waiting list for a lung transplant. U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) invited his 21-year-old son, Ceasar, to attend the president's speech with her.New York's representatives in Congress are pressing President Bush to expand funding for a critical health screening program for Ground Zero workers at Mount Sinai. Borja, a Filipino immigrant and 20-year NYPD veteran from Bayside, worked for five months at the World Trade Center Site.He had been hospitalized at since December with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which lung tissue becomes scarred and unable to take in oxygen. The junior Borja accompanied Clinton to the president's State of the Union address in Washington Tuesday, where he was when he learned of his father's death, according to the Associated Press.Clinton and others from the New York delegation - including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) Monday called on Bush to boost funding for health care and screening of Sept. 11 responders as well as workers and Lower Manhattan residents who were exposed to the toxic dust at Ground Zero."These first responders, volunteers and their families are living proof of our very real need to provide for their medical treatment, now and in the future," Clinton said in a statement.She and Schumer, along with other Senate Democrats, have introduced a bill to provide $1.9 billion in medical and mental health treatment and monitoring over five years to those exposed at Ground Zero or the Pentagon crash site. The program at Mount Sinai and one run by the Fire Department are monitoring more than 32,000 people, according to Clinton's office."The president must act now or 9/11 health clinics are going to get foreclosure notices," Maloney said in a statement. "We cannot let that happen. More responders should not have to die before we finally do right by the heroes of 9/11."Reach reporter John Tozzi by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 174.
©2007 Community News Group
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