Disaster in Flint, Michigan: How a water crisis spiraled out of control

It is unsafe to drink the water in Flint, Michigan because it's full of so much lead Governor Rick Snyder had to declare a state of emergency...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

It is unsafe to drink the water in Flint, Michigan, because it’s full of so much lead Governor Rick Snyder had to declare a state of emergency.

It doesn’t get much worse than that.

When most people hear the term “lead poisoning,” their minds will automatically shift into viewing the issue as a public health concern caused by factors outside of anyone’s control.

But let’s be very clear here: What happened in Flint (and is still happening today) is not a blameless “accident” or an honest mistake. This is a man-made catastrophe which endangered the lives and well-being of an entire city.

Basically, in an attempt to save a few bucks, Flint residents were essentially poisoned. When officials were informed of what happened, it was allegedly ignored and downplayed while children kept ingesting filthy, dangerous water.

For the past several decades, Flint has been getting its water pumped from Lake Huron, until recently when a decision was made by a state-appointed emergency manager to switch to getting water from the Flint River — the very polluted Flint River.

It is incredibly important to ensure that water is free from lead, because lead poisoning permanently and irreparably damages people’s minds, organs and bodies, especially in children under six.

Lead damages children’s brains, lowers their IQs, and destroys their ability to focus. Besides causing hypertension, messing with the body’s central nervous system and damaging reproductive organs, it also causes irreversible behavioral problems.

So let me ask you this: What precautions would you want your government officials to take in protecting your city’s inhabitants, especially your children, from unnecessarily ingesting brain-damaging lead poisoning?

Probably every damn step they possibly could — which is not what happened in Flint.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s administration allowed the water switch to be made without taking any safeguards to ensure the water was treated correctly. Once again, it is basic common sense to city and state officials to add corrosion control phosphates to the water. But it wasn’t added — which is damn-near unfathomable.

Now, let me ask you another question: if whistleblowers discovered that your drinking water was now poisoned, would you want every official in your state to scramble to fix the problem?

I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t demand that — yet Michigan officials lied and attempted to discredit anyone who identified the water as being dangerous.

After an EPA whistleblower identified the poisoned water in Flint, the Michigan government reportedly labeled him a “rogue employee.”

After Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha reported that Flint children were getting sick due to the new water, government officials claimed she got her facts incorrect. As each precious second kept ticking, amidst a massive, imminent public health problem, the government failed to help their citizens and focused their attention on attacking the people who actually were assisting the sick.

And finally, let me ask you one last question: What would you want to happen to the government officials who knowingly and willingly allowed you and your children to drink water they knew was full of poison?

Would an apology and a few random resignations really do?

I can’t see how anyone could entrust their public safety to this government ever again.