Sarah Solon

State of the Union: Hillary Spotlights 9/11 Workers, DMI Issues Instant Response

In her first act after declaring an '08 presidential bid, Senator Hillary Clinton invited 21-year-old Cesar Borja - son of chronically ill 9/11 worker Cesar Borja - to be her guest at tonight's State of the Union address. The elder Borja's lungs have disintegrated over the last five years after exposure to 9/11 dust week after week in the wake of the attacks. He's currently hospitalized and unconscious - without a lung transplant, he will suffocate.

After being asked to join the Senator tonight, Cesar issued this statement (printed by the Daily News):

"My father Cesar Borja is 52 years old and he is a retired NYPD police officer. He has served and protected the city of New York for 20 years, and retired in 2003. ... "I have two younger siblings. Evan, my brother, who is 16. But I feel sorry the most for my youngest. Her name is Nhia. She's my sister. She's 12 years old.

"I'm going tomorrow to Washington, D.C., with Sen. Hillary Clinton - and I thank her for that - for a chance to reach further more of the press and to promote that 9/11 did not end that year. It still continues now to the present day.

And I am not the only one affected. But I know that I represent them.

I hope that the government will pass legislation offering financial support for medical attention, proper health care, for all those heroes-turned-victims due to the fact that they did not hesitate on Sept. 11, 2001.

It's not just New York's Finest or New York's Bravest, but also volunteers. I remember coming here shortly thereafter to see what was going on. I probably first arrived here at the World Trade Center, at Ground Zero, perhaps Sept. 14, when my parents thought it was safe for me to come and visit. And I saw license plates from all over America, even Canada. They came to help. ...

I'm lucky to be 21, to have known my father as long as I have. I hope that with proper medical attention, little girls and young boys like my brother, 16, won't have to go through what my family's going through. ...

That is why I need the help of the government. Not just me, but everyone, everyone that's been affected, all the heroes, all of the families, all of the wives, the sons, the daughters, the brothers, the sisters, the grandmothers, the grandfathers, everyone that has been affected by 9/11. We need the help of the U.S. government. Please."

Senator Clinton, along with Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Vito Fossella "want Bush to create a line in the federal budget to continue treatment for as long as is necessary, and a Senate committee is set to hold hearings next month on a Clinton bill that would allocate $1.9 billion over five years to 9/11 health issues," according to the Daily News.

After you watch for this important guest tonight - who will give needed national (not to mention Presidential) attention to the treatment of chronically ill 9/11 workers - a topic that has gotten a lot of coverage on this blog - look for DMI's instant response to the State of the Union. Within hours of the President finishing his address, we will provide a substantive analysis of the domestic policy proposals and promises from the perspective of the middle class and aspiring middle class. Look for it here. And join the discussion on DMIBlog here.

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 23, 2007 in 9/11 & Ground Zero | In the News
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