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Budget Cuts and Negligence Poisoned the Drinking Water in Flint, Mich.
Posted on Jan 16, 2016
Calls for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are intensifying in the face of evidence that he allowed 100,000 residents of the city of Flint to continue cooking, drinking and bathing in water known to be contaminated with lead.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is among those demanding that Snyder leave office.
“There are no excuses,” Sanders said in a statement released Saturday. “The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov. Snyder should resign.”
“[F]amilies will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives,” Sanders continued. “Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems.”
Reports say the problem began in spring 2014, when the cash-strapped city switched water sources, hoping to save money. Corrosive water drawn from the Flint River stripped lead from pipes, resulting in high levels of the toxic metal appearing in the blood of children. Subsequently, the city switched sources again.
Julia Lurie at Mother Jones magazine reported that cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the area have spiked over the past year and a half, with 10 people dying out of a total of 87 cases. Marc Edwards, a scientist at Virginia Tech who helped expose the water’s lead contamination, told the Detroit Free Press that there’s a “very strong likelihood” that the change in water supply enabled the disease’s recent surge.
The New York Times reports:
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Documentary filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore has published an open letter asking President Obama to travel to Flint. In it, Moore criticizes Snyder’s decision to source water from the Flint River:
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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