By Robert A. Vella
Here’s the latest developments in the terrible public health crisis hitting the impoverished community of Flint, Michigan:
- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has opened an investigation into lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water supplies.
- FEMA has responded to Governor Rick Snyder’s state of emergency declaration and request for federal disaster relief.
- An outbreak of Legionnaires disease has also struck Flint, resulting in 10 deaths so far, although it’s not yet clear if this is related to the lead contamination.
- Flint’s water supply has been switched back to the Detroit system, but lead contamination still persists making the water unsafe to drink.
- High lead levels, which are known to cause brain damage, have been detected in many children in Flint.
- The Republican-sponsored emergency manager law, which seized power from democratically-elected local officials, is being seen as causing this crisis because it took Flint off the safe Detroit water system in 2014 as a cost-cutting measure.