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We must spread the news of this travesty of justice in Flint, Michigan

To The Daily Sun,

It was revealed that Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan and other officials have been part of a huge cover-up. The manager Snyder appointed to oversee operations for the city of Flint decided to switch the city's drinking water source to the Flint River while a new water system was being constructed. Unfortunately for everyone living in Flint, the water was not filtered or treated properly, thus allowing high levels of lead into the city's water.
When problems such as foul odors and discoloration started showing up, tests on the drinking water found an extraordinarily high level of lead. This resulted in unprecedented corrosion of the pipes. The lead contained in the pipes then leeched into the water which is supplied to Flint; a direct result of not putting anti-corrosion conversion measures in place. This scientist who conducted the tests urged the residents not to drink or cook with the water coming out of the pipes.

How did the governor respond? Well, the test results were denied and the scientist was dismissed as a "quack" by administration officials. Subsequently an EPA memo was revealed and exposed the fact that the levels of lead in the drinking water supply had tripled since the Flint River was being used as the water supply for the city. This report was then denounced by government officials. Snyder's administration held news conferences telling the people of Flint to "relax and not panic" about the findings.

Over a period of 17 months, the citizens of Flint were drinking and cooking with this water and being exposed to very high lead levels. Lead is one of the most poisonous neuro-toxins known to man.

During this time, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician connected with Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint, started testing children's blood levels for lead. Her initial findings were alarming, but because she had only tested a small sampling of the childhood population, she felt that her test results would be dismissed by the Snyder administration. With this in mind, she then began testing all of the children in Flint. She found seriously high levels of lead in the blood work of these children. Dr. Hanna-Attisha found that the lead levels in the blood of children who had been drinking this poisoned water over a period of 17 months had tripled. She indicated that every single child who drank the water or ate foods cooked in this water has been exposed to this poison. Keep in mind that no level of lead is safe. Lead poisoning causes hair loss, skin liaisons, irreversible brain damage, reduction in IQ, severe learning problems and erratic behavior. The state officials knew about this serious problem, but denied that it existed.

On Monday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency.

What should be done about the Snyder administration's negligent irresponsibility?

First: We as Americans must call for the immediate impeachment of Gov. Rick Snyder and everyone implicit in the cover-up.

Second: We must demand that the state set up a permanent fund for all of the children in Flint who are testing for high levels of lead in their blood stream. A fund that will never expire, ever.

Third: We must be sure to spread the news of this travesty of justice, nationwide.

Fourth: We must stand with the people of Flint who will have to take care of these children on a long-term basis as lead poisoning is not reversible. Once the lead is in your system the damage is done ... It cannot be flushed out, or medicated out or transfused out! Lead poisoning affects one's ability to learn, it affects your physical well-being.

Bernadette Loesch


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