Flint Gov. Employees Got Clean Water While Kids Were Being Poisoned With Lead

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 21: Jake McSigue, 6, of Linden, receives a packahe of bottled water through the window of his grandma's home January 21, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. McSigue was home sick from school and staying with his grandma, whose front door does not open. The Red Cross is supporting state and county efforts to bring water to every household in the city. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Uncovered emails prove Flint officials knew the water was bad – as govt. employees were getting water coolers delivered so they didn’t have to drink it.

Maybe you haven’t been keeping up with the horrific events that are transpiring in Flint, Michigan right now — but here they are in a nutshell. The city has been supplying toxic water to its residents. All of its residents under six years old are now considered exposed to toxic amounts of lead. In October of 2015, Michigan governor Rick Snyder maintained that his administration was unaware of the toxic levels of lead in Flint’s water. New emails uncovered by Progress Michigan are making that very hard to believe.

Since January of 2015, the Snyder administration has been silently tucking safe water into city buildings in Flint, Michigan, so city employees wouldn’t have to drink the toxic water — 10 months prior to the governor admitting he had any knowledge that the water was tainted.

First, let’s be clear about this fact: Every single one of the the city’s 8,657 kids under six years old is considered exposed to toxic amounts of lead.

According to CNN, the decision to switch the city’s water source to the Flint river was a cost-saving measure, and officials knew the water was of poor quality. They also knew the water could be potable if treated with an anti-corrosion agent. That agent would’ve cost the city $100 per day. They decided to save money and never treat the water. People began to complain that their water looked, smelled, and tasted “off.” The city maintained it was safe to drink.

It wasn’t.

Again, every single one of the the city’s 8,657 kids under six years old is considered exposed to toxic amounts of lead.

The city finally switched back to getting its water from Lake Huron, but the damage has been done and lead is still present in the system. You cannot reverse lead poisoning. “Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially in children,” reports the Mayo Clinic. “The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage may occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults. Very high lead levels may cause seizures, unconsciousness and possibly death.”

Parents, giving their kids water the city repeatedly maintained was safe. Parents, slowly poisoning their children. Think about that for a minute. Imagine being one of those parents. Imagine watching your child deal with complications from something as preventable as drinking tainted water — water the city had the power to make potable but decided not to. Then, imagine seeing these emails, knowing that you now have a child who’s been exposed to toxic amounts of lead:

“While the City of Flint states that the corrective actions are not necessary, DTMB is in the process of providing a water cooler on each occupied floor, positioned near the water fountain, so you can choose which water to drink.” You can almost read the wink, wink – don’t drink the water embedded in this message. “The coolers will arrive today and will be provided as long as the public water does not meet treatment requirements.” Translation: we’re saving money by poisoning the children of Flint, so we have a ton leftover to provide you guys with water coolers.

“While residents were being told to relax and not worry about the water, the Snyder administration was taking steps to limit exposure in its own building,” says Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.

There’s no way to undo this damage.

Flint Child Health and Development Fund, the Flint Water Fund, or the Flint Water Study are organizations you can look to for information and resources if you want to help. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore maintains that it’s futile to ship water bottles, but many disagree with him: people need clean drinking water. We probably can agree with this statement, though:

“There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years — and get away with it.”

And their salaries are being paid by the very people they poisoned.


Sign the petition here. #ArrestGovSnyder

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