To The Daily Sun,
If Mr. Gene Ronikier had actually done any research on the issue (that he addressed in his letter to editor published on Saturday, Dec. 26) he would have found that there was indeed a cover-up about the drinking water in Flint, Michigan. He also wouldn't have come up with a flippant "solution" that in reality does not solve the matter. Contrary to what Mr. Ronikier states in his letter, I do not 'hate Republicans' (maybe he thinks that by throwing that line around he doesn't have to pay attention to facts). I do hate political cover-ups and Gov. Snyder (R-Mich.) and his administration are responsible for the unconscionable and unscrupulous cover-up after they switched from the Detroit water then supplying the City of Flint to the more corrosive untreated river water.
If Mr. Ronikier wanted to work with facts instead of slinging his hash, he could look at some or any of the following reports on the serious issues with the high levels of lead. They're not just from his bogeyman, MSNBC:
1. The Washington Post-article published by Yanan Wang-Dec. 15, 2015. Here's an excerpt: "These parents and other Flint residents filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Snyder, the state, the city and 13 other public officials in November for damages they have suffered as a result of the lead-tainted water. The suit, which claims to represent "tens of thousands of residents," alleges that the city and state officials "deliberately deprived" them of their 14th Amendment rights by replacing formerly safe drinking water with a cheaper alternative that was known to be highly toxic." As for Mr. Ronikier's argument that residents can take care of the problem simply in their homes, the article further states that "(the city issued a boil advisory in September 2014). This recommendation runs contrary to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines on lead in drinking water, which states that heating or boiling water will not remove lead. In fact, "because some of the water evaporates during the boiling process, the lead concentration of the water can actually increase slightly as the water is boiled," according to the CDC.)"
2. Live Science by Kate Goldbaum-12-21-15
3. U.S. News & World Report (www.usnews.com) -9-25-15
4. NPR-published by Sarah Hulett-9-29-15 then updated on 10-25-15 (www.npr.org)
5. EPA Draft Report obtained by the ACLU of MI
6. CBS-AP-December 22, 2015 (www.associatedpress.org )
7. ABC News/Reuters (www.reuters.com )
8. Fortune Magazine-Dec. 15, 2015 (www.fortune.com)
9. Detroit News/The Detroit Free Press (www.freep.com)
10. WSWS.org-12-1-15 (CBS affiliated TV Station)
11. NBC-Flint: MDEQ's (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) Brad Wurfel and Director Dan Wyant in a recorded interview on Dec. 23 made misleading and false statements during this interview. They acknowledge that "mistakes were made" in not practicing corrosion control that caused very high levels of lead to leach into Flint's tap water, but he wouldn't apologize to the citizens of Flint."
The full report from MDEQ can be found online: search Flint Water Study Updates webpage
"Michigan Health Department hid evidence of health harm due to lead contaminated water: Allowed false public assurances by MDEQ and stonewalled outside researchers" Dated: Dec. 21, 2015
12. FOXNEWS.com 10-1-15
13. The New York Times: 3-25-15
15. www.mlive.com (Michigan Live)-Sept. 19, 2015
16. AP (Associated Press)-October 2, 2015: "Public health emergency declared due to lead in Flint Water by Corey Williams
17. www.flintwaterstudy.org (contains all of the in depth studies, reports, research, citizen input and complaints over many years)
18. The Rachel Maddow Program-MSNBC (reported and updated on few other times since she first reported this news story).
On Sept. 2, 2015 Professor Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech made a simple data request under the Freedom of Information Act. He did not get any replies after repeated requests. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services fought hard to delay release of these documents. Full reports, updates and record of stonewalling can be found on the following webpage: www:Flintwaterstudy.org In addition, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Pediatrician of Hurley Medical Center had made her own data request in mid September. She too was met with resistance from DHHS (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services).
The General Motors plant located in Flint also stopped using the water supply in their manufacturing process, saying it was rusting its vehicle parts.
Long story short for Mr. Ronikier: Despite his name-calling and simplistic claims there was and is a real problem and a real cover-up.
- Category: Letters
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