Articles Tagged with Flint

Flint Michigan.jpgMichigan’s Attorney General has criminally charged more than 50 people over the deplorable government behavior that stripped the families of Flint of their clean water from Lake Huron, and substituted dangerous, lead-contaminated water from the Flint River.

And now the Attorney General has just filed the most significant charges of all: he has charged the State’s Director of Health and Human Services (HHS) with felony manslaughter, and the State’s Chief Medical Executive with obstruction of justice. The HHS Director, when informed that the contaminated water might have led to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that ultimately took the life of an 85-year-old man, is shockingly alleged to have observed that, “everyone has to die of something”. And the Chief Medical Executive is alleged to have threatened to withhold funding from a community health organization if it did not stop searching for the source of the Legionnaire’s outbreak.

While criminal charges are obviously serious, and in all honesty very rare in environmental contamination cases, they are certainly warranted here, in my opinion, for these reasons:

glass-of-water-252x300.jpgYes. You read that correctly. First, the State of Michigan and the City of Flint took away Flint residents’ clean water. Then they substituted lead-contaminated water. Now, the City of Flint has just sent notices to 8,000 Flint residents threatening that, if the residents don’t pay for the lead-contaminated water, Flint may evict them from their homes. The government deliberately tries to hurt citizens, and then demands that they pay for the privilege. I don’t know whether this awful behavior is explained by (more) racism directed to the (mostly African American) residents of Flint, or by the most clueless and callous government bureaucracy imaginable. Or both. For the moment, anyway, it doesn’t matter. It needs to stop. And whoever had the idea to bill people for poisoned water needs to get fired.

And, let’s not forget, the people of Flint still need clean water. A court has recently approved a settlement that would provide new (non-lead-contaminated) pipes to deliver water to the residents. Wonderful. Now, the people in charge need to start treating the residents of Flint like the full-fledged human beings and Americans that they are and get the new pipes installed ASAP.

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