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Michigan Gov. Snyder Must Be Removed for Flint City Lead Poisoning

We have established governments purposely to protect our lives and our interests. If that singular purpose is not served well, it is only fitting that we either replace the personalities occupying those public offices, or dissolve it in its entirety.

Demanding a malfunctioning government entity to reform itself is simply stupid.

Elsewhere in Michigan, children are irreversibly threaten with massive lead poisoning because Gov. Snyder told them to “Relax, don’t worry” at the first apprehension that something bad was in the cloudy tap taken from the water system in Flint.

Gov. Snyder is said to have an authority to appoint just about anybody to replace elected officials as he deems fit under an emergency situation. The trouble is: a locality may remain under perpetual emergency so that authoritarian control is maintained in furtherance of vested interests that have nothing to do with the people’s welfare.

Here’s a background video of how the Flint lead poisoning started…

The state of affairs in Michigan is not exclusive to that State. The bankruptcy is with the entire US government. Michigan is only a symptom of a bigger systemic problem plaguing the entire United States.

It is, therefore, very important for the American people to urge their government, or better still, establish a new one that would prioritize national redevelopment rather than continue funding wars of aggression elsewhere around the world that all have led to highly questionable outcomes, e.g. Afghanistan, Libya.

Imagine how much funds could be made available for clean water services not just for Michigan but for the entire country when all military personnel are returned home. Besides, nobody in his right mind believes in American democracy anymore.

All massive poisoning through chemtrailing, vaccination, water fluoridation, etc. are happening inside the United States. Clean your own house first.

Michigan governor declares state of emergency over Flint’s toxic water

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency over Flint’s contaminated drinking water. The announcement comes less than a month after Flint’s mayor declared the same, saying the city’s water was causing elevated levels of lead in children.

In announcing the state of emergency on Tuesday, Governor Snyder said that when the City of Flint switched from the Detroit water system in 2014 to the Flint River as a water source, “the harmful effects of untreated water struck the city’s water infrastructure.”

Snyder said the damaged water infrastructure caused leaching of lead into the water and damage to the water system. This, he said,“has either caused or threatened to cause elevated blood lead levels, especially in the population of children and pregnant women,”creating“a potential immediate threat to public health and safety.”

Snyder’s declaration makes available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery operations and authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate the state’s efforts.

“Working in full partnership with the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, all levels of government and water quality experts, we will find both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure the health and safety of Flint residents,” Snyder said.

The state of emergency could lead to a future request for federal assistance in the city’s toxic water crisis. The situation has already led to the resignation of the state’s top environmental regulator last month, after a governor-appointed task force held the state environmental agency “primarily responsible” for failure to ensure safe drinking water in Flint.

When Flint switched water supplies, residents immediately complained about odd tastes, smells and coloring. The situation became a full-blown crisis when, during the summer of 2015, rising levels of lead were being detected in children’s blood.

A pediatrician at the local Hurley Medical Center, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha told RT that the highest readings she and the state recorded for elevated blood levels in Flint were 38 micrograms per deciliter. That reading is more than seven times higher than the level classified as “elevated” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (five micrograms). The CDC states there is no safe blood lead level in children.

Hanna-Attisha first revealed that lead levels in Flint children had been rising to dangerous levels in September, though her work was initially panned and dismissed by state officials, including those representing Governor Snyder.

Lead is a deadly neurotoxin, and exposure is especially dangerous for children, who may experience stunted growth, behavioral problems and permanently decreased IQs.

The city of Flint has been under a local emergency declaration since December 14, when Mayor Karen Weaver called on the board of commissioners to take action on the water crisis.

“The City of Flint has experienced a manmade disaster,” Weaver said in a statement announcing the state of emergency.

Two months earlier, Flint switched back to the Detroit water system on October 16, and FEMA began to distribute bottled water. Despite Flint’s reconnection to the Detroit water system in October, the purity of its drinking water remains unclear.

“No one really knows the current status of lead in Flint’s water supply,” said Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech researcher whose water testing showed dangerous levels of lead in the city’s tap water, according to the Detroit News. “We have taken the position that until Flint actually passes a round of legitimate EPA Lead and Copper Rule-monitoring, (the water) should be assumed unsafe for cooking and drinking.”

A week ago, Governor Snyder apologized to Flint residents for the state’s handling of the situation. The governor also recognized the water crisis was a more expansive a problem than could met by local resources and voluntary organizations.

In November, the US Environmental Protection Agency began an investigation into Flint’s water crisis. After prompting from the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and on the same day as Snyder announced the state of emergency, the Justice Department said it had opened an investigation into what went wrong, according to the Huffington Post.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office in Detroit confirmed it is helping the EPA investigate Flint’s water crisis.

“In an effort to address the concerns of Flint residents, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan is working closely with the EPA in the investigation of the contamination of the city of Flint’s water supply,” Balaya said, according to the Detroit News.

“Our policy has always been that we neither confirm nor deny investigations; however, the nature of this situation warranted an exception to that policy.”

reiventing michigan snyder

Calls for Michigan Gov. Snyder’s Arrest as Flint Poisoning Scandal Implicates Top Staffers

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Calls for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s ouster—and arrest—are growing after internal emails showed that his high-level staffers were aware of lead poisoning in Flint’s public water supply six months before the administration declared a state of emergency.

According to the newly-released emails, which were obtained by NBC News, Snyder’s chief of staff at the time, Dennis Muchmore, wrote to an unnamed high-level health department staffer: “I’m frustrated by the water issue in Flint.”

“These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we’re just not sympathizing with their plight),” Muchmore wrote in the email, according to journalists Stephanie Gosk, Kevin Monahan, Tim Sandler and Hannah Rappleye.

“I really don’t think people are getting the benefit of the doubt,” wrote Muchmore. “Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving.”

But it was not until this week that Snyder declared a state of emergency, following in the footsteps of the city’s mayor. “The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority and we’re committed to a coordinated approach with resources from state agencies to address all aspects of this situation,” Snyder said on Tuesday.

Following the resignation of Michigan’s top environmental official, as well as sustained community demands, the Department of Justice announced this week it is launching an investigation into the water crisis.

Many hold Snyder directly culpable for the emergency itself, and note his role in the Detroit water crisis.

“The source of the Flint Water Crisis leads directly to Gov. Rick Snyder and the fiscal austerity policies that he and his Republican colleagues have been pushing for years on Michigan residents,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan,” in a statement released Thursday. “Families in Flint were forced to drink lead-tainted water while the administration scoffed at their concerns and cries for help. An entire generation of Michiganders now face an uncertain future because of Republican cuts to essential and life-giving services.”

The Republican governor appointed Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley who enforced the April 2014 decision to switch from the Detroit system to the Flint River to source water. In an angry letter to Snyder, filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore wrote:

Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and “cutting costs” to “balance the budget” was more important than the people’s health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of “water” where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to “clean” it — which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint’s aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people’s taps.

Moore, in fact, is circulating a petition calling on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to arrest Snyder for “corruption and assault.”

While Flint returned to the Detroit water system in October following public concern, the wide-spread lead poisoning can not be undone. According to the World Health Organization, “Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.”

And there are already signs damage has been done. A study released in September by researchers at the nearby Hurley Children’s Hospital identified a “rise in blood lead levels of children less than 5 years old” living within two Flint Zip codes since the city began sourcing drinking water from the Flint River.

In a municipality that is 56 percent black and, according to the latest U.S. Census, one of the poorest cities in the country, community coalitions including “Water You Fighting For” charge that profound injustices lie at the root of the current crisis. As Moore noted, “To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat.”

Lead Poisoned Kids in Flint Will Need More Than Apologies, Declarations

By Matt Gillard

The children of Flint will need more than new declarations of emergency, state-level resignations and public apologies to help reverse the damage that has been done to their young bodies and developing brains. And now is the time for the state to step in with a proven strategy to help the most vulnerable citizens among us.

The tragic crisis in which too many Flint children have been poisoned by lead from drinking toxic water after lax state regulatory oversight requires an immediate and significant investment in proven interventions that already exist. That is why Michigan’s Children calls on the state to step in – without delay – to increase funding to Early On services, a proven and existing program that helps families with infants and toddlers birth to age three who have a developmental delay or a diagnosed health condition that could lead to such delay. Elevated lead is one of those health conditions that result in automatic eligibility for Early On due to its strong connection to cognitive impairment and developmental challenges.

Helping Flint’s children today is most critical and what’s been missing in the conversation to raise emergency relief to correct a corrosive infrastructure that contributed to higher lead levels in city drinking water. Early On has made a difference in the life trajectories of thousands of Michigan children over the years but sadly has been underfunded across the state. The Flint crisis points responsibility to our state to redouble efforts to intervene where harm has been done and to do a much better job of preventing lead poisoning in other Michigan communities.

“Elevated lead levels continue to plague young children across our state.”

The events in Flint should awaken all Michigan residents to the devastating impact lead plays on children and their future health, well-being and prosperity. Because of young children’s rapidly developing brains, effects of lead poisoning can dreadfully result in developmental delays and cognitive impairment. Toxic levels of lead in young children can result in long-term consequences ranging from lower I.Q. scores to attention issues and other significant behavioral and developmental challenges that create barriers to learning and academic success.

While attention has certainly focused on Flint due to the uptick in cases of lead poisoned children after the City’s water switch, elevated lead levels continue to plague young children across our state, particularly those who lack appropriate nutrition to counteract its absorption and whose families live in areas with older infrastructure, as highlighted in this recent Bridge article.

As the state continues to figure out how to reduce lead levels in Flint’s drinking water, we must step up to ensure that children who have been exposed to high levels of lead across the state are receiving the services they need for optimal development.

The facts are that Michigan continues to inadequately fund Early On with no line item in the state budget dedicated to those services, relying solely on a small pot of federal funds inadequate and never intended to fund direct intervention services.  The vast majority of other states supplement this federal resource with state appropriations.

The need for action is clear. Not only do we need to support efforts to make Flint’s water safe again, and better support lead abatement efforts around the state, but we also need to ensure that children who have been exposed to lead can receive the services they need for a bright future. State investment in Early On is essential to see the best potential outcomes for the young children we have already failed.

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