United States comedian Michelle Wolf and Flint poisoned water

This 2016 video about the USA says about itself:

Murky Waters of Flint. How a whole city was poisoned

The city of Flint in Michigan, US, has a water crisis. It’s been going on since 2014 when residents were switched to a cheaper supply but it took a year before the authorities admitted there was a problem. As a result, thousands were exposed to lead poisoning, carcinogenic chemicals and legionella bacteria.

Miguel Francis Santiago investigates what caused the problem, its dire consequences and why they tried to cover it up.

For 50 years the authorities of Flint in Michigan, US had bought the city’s water from a trusted source. In 2014 however, the corporation switched to a cheaper water supplier. The former industrial city was now getting its water from the local river.

Before long though, residents were complaining about the colour, taste and smell of the tap water but their concerns were dismissed. Even the local manufacturing giant, General Motors stated that Flint River water wasn’t even fit for making cars, but still, those in power adamantly insisted the water was safe.

Paediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha was the first doctor in Flint to recognise the problem. She conducted a study and proved that the number of local children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had doubled since the switch.

Dr. Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech spent more than $200,000 of his own money on analysing Flint’s water. When his initial and alarming findings were brushed off by the Environmental Protection Agency, he set up a website to tell the townsfolk about his research.

Thanks to their work, the Flint water crisis finally came to light and the city was forced to admit that the new water was unsafe. By then, thousands of residents had been exposed to lead poisoning, carcinogens and the deadly Legionnaires’ disease bacteria. RT Doc visits Flint to meet victims of the crisis, the heroes who helped expose it and former authority members who are now accused of a cover-up to understand how such wide scale poisoning of Americans happened to continue unchecked for so long and why it was allowed to happen at all.

By Jim Brewer in the USA:

Michelle Wolf’s Flint comment touches a nerve in Michigan’s capital

4 May 2018

As Michelle Wolf was leaving the podium at the end of her courageous and funny takedown of Trump, the Democrats and the press at the White House correspondents’ dinner last Saturday, she added, “…and Flint still doesn’t have clean water.” This is a statement with which a large majority of the city’s 100,000 residents would agree

From the office of [Republican] Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, however, it elicited an indignant rejoinder.

In an email to MLive/The Flint Journal, Snyder’s chief spokesperson, Anna Heaton, said, “Inaccurate comments from comedians will not help the city move forward.”

Snyder’s use of the phrase “move forward” means closing the book on Flint. A month ago, Snyder announced the termination of the last of the PODS, the state-funded distribution sites for bottled water and filters to Flint residents. Even though the city’s program for replacing lead and galvanized steel (which can also act as a repository of lead) service lines is only one-third finished and isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2020, the minimal assistance of providing bottled water to residents has been wound up.

The pipe replacement program does not even include the mains. There are no plans to replace the entire antiquated water infrastructure, which was built decades ago. Moreover, nothing has been done to address the damage done by corrosive Flint River water to the pipes inside residents’ homes.

The governor’s justification for cutting off bottled water distribution for Flint was laid out in Heaton’s comments: “All state scientists and independent scientists who have collected their own samples and data agree that Flint’s water system is testing well beneath the federal standards for lead and that the city’s water is in fact of better quality than many other US cities of similar size and age.”

For Flint’s populace, the vast majority of whom will not drink Flint water, this merely adds insult to injury.

In addition to being poisoned, losing unborn babies, enduring an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed at least 12 people, and having a generation of children who face lifelong neurological damage, the population as a whole has suffered immense trauma and stress, not to mention the collapse of their home values.

The crisis in Flint has brought to light a widespread state and national lead-in-water crisis. Because of media attention and state and federal hearings, it is now widely known that the federal standards cited by the governor are long outdated.

The “action level” set by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1991–only four years after lead pipe was outlawed in new construction–of 15 parts of lead to a billion parts of water, is long overdue for revision. There are no safe levels of lead exposure according to another government agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state’s agenda is no different than it was when officials decided over five years ago to change Flint’s water source: privatize the water system in order to generate profits for investors, speculators and the ruling elite in general.

In February, a report issued by the University of Michigan School of Public Health said Snyder “bears significant legal responsibility for the (Flint water) crisis based on his supervisory role over state agencies,” adding, “But reports, interviews and released emails suggest that by October 2014, the governor’s staff was sufficiently aware… that several top aides were arguing that Flint should return to using water from (the city of Detroit).”

Yet Snyder has never been charged, let alone prosecuted, for any crime, and he remains in office.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, a Democrat elected on the promise of solving the city’s water crisis, issued a pathetic response to the exchange over Wolf’s comment, saying that the comedian was helping the city by “talking and thinking about Flint.” Her administration has taken nothing but palliative measures to address the crisis, concentrating her efforts on dissipating public anger and channeling protests into futile lobbying of the political representatives of the banks and corporations such as Nestlė Waters.

‘The Poisoned City’ chronicles Flint’s water crisis. Journalist Anna Clark weaves together history and science to explain the public health disaster. By Cassie Martin, 7:00am, July 17, 2018.

A state court judge ruled Monday that Nick Lyon, the executive director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, will be brought to trial for two counts of involuntary manslaughter, as well as other felony charges related to the Flint water crisis. This ruling marks the first time anyone has been ordered to stand trial for the criminal conspiracy committed against the population of this working class city north of Detroit. Lyon was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder and still holds the position as head of the state health agency: here.

DETROIT CUTS OFF SCHOOL DRINKING WATER Detroit authorities ordered drinking water shut off at all city public schools after elevated levels of lead and copper were found at more than a dozen buildings with antiquated plumbing systems. [Reuters]

The Detroit Public School system has shut off drinking water at every one of the 106 school buildings it operates because of elevated levels of lead and copper found in water testing at 16 out of 24 schools. The announcement is an admission that the catastrophic conditions in Flint, Michigan, caused by the profit-driven decision to shift the city’s water system to polluted water from the Flint River, are replicated for school children in Detroit, the largest city in Michigan and the poorest big city in America: here.

Emily Sioma, aka Miss Michigan, didn’t snag the top crown at Sunday’s Miss America pageant — that honor went to Miss New York, Nia Imani Franklin — but she won hearts nationwide with a sly bit of activism. “From the state with 84 percent of the U.S. freshwater but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma,” she said during her introduction.

EX-GOVERNOR’S PHONE SEIZED IN FLINT WATER PROBE Authorities investigating Flint’s water crisis have used search warrants to seize from storage the state-owned mobile devices of former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and 65 other current or former officials, The Associated Press has learned. [AP]

Michigan attorney general seizes cell phone of former governor Snyder in probe of Flint water crisis: here.

KANSANS ALLOWED TO DRINK CONTAMINATED WATER Kansas officials reportedly allowed hundreds of residents in two Wichita-area neighborhoods to drink contaminated water for years without telling them. [The Wichita Eagle]

Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan and one of the chief conspirators in the lead poisoning of Flint’s water supply, has been named senior research fellow at the Taubman Center at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Snyder began his work at the university on July 1, and will “teach and study subjects related to state and local government,” according to a statement released by Harvard. The reaction to the appointment by many Flint residents was summed up by Deanna Avery, a Flint resident and nurse, who told the WSWS: “It is a disheartening choice. The man who was behind the poisoning of Flint is unconscious of human lives. He should not be appointed to anything but prison”: here.

On Wednesday, just days after Harvard University announced that former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had accepted its offer of a senior research fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Snyder announced on Twitter that he was withdrawing from the position. The decision came in the face of widespread opposition on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts; in Flint, Michigan, where tens of thousands of residents suffered lead poisoning as a result of his administration’s decision to switch the city’s water supply; and nationally. In less than three days, more than 7,000 people signed an online petition that urged the rescinding of the fellowship. Thousands more expressed opposition to the appointment on social media: here.

THE WATER CRISIS IS WORSENING TERRIBLE INEQUALITY As with many aspects of the climate crisis, the impacts of water shortages are not equal. While wealthier people are able to buy private supplies, drill boreholes and fill their swimming pools, poorer people, who already use less water and pay more for it, have few options. [HuffPost]

U.S. DRINKING WATER WIDELY CONTAMINATED The contamination of U.S. drinking water with man-made “forever chemicals” is far worse than previously estimated, with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, said a report by an environmental watchdog group. [Reuters]

46 thoughts on “United States comedian Michelle Wolf and Flint poisoned water

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  2. LCV has just learned that the Health and Human Services department — with help from the White House — buried a report on toxic chemicals contaminating drinking water in communities from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.

    The chemicals — known as PFOA, PFOS, and others in the PFAS family — are linked to thyroid defects, pregnancy complications, and even cancer. Even low levels can cause serious health complications.

    Release of the assessment would present a “public relations nightmare,” a White House official wrote in a January 2018 email. Since then, the White House, HHS, and Scott Pruitt’s EPA have coordinated to keep the study from the public.

    The Trump administration MUST release the full report. Period. Making it happen will take hundreds of thousands of calls to Capitol Hill, pressure on the administration, and getting constituents to push on the issue at hundreds of townhalls this summer. We need your help to make that happen.

    Every day a new front opens in Trump’s war on the environment and public health, and the League of Conservation Voters is there to fight it. We can win, but only with your help. Please renew your membership for $5 or more today »

    Getting this report to the public is no easy task. The chemical industry will put forth a furious effort to keep this report buried.

    We can’t let them win. States have been pleading with the EPA for help, and experts say that the contamination is so widespread, the chemicals are found in nearly every water supply that gets tested.

    LCV is gearing up for a massive fight over the buried report. The only way to get the report released is to put pressure on Democrats and Republicans to force the Trump administration to release the report. To make that happen, we need to raise $250,000 by the end of the month. If everyone reading this email pitched in — just $5 — we’d blow through that goal in minutes.

    Pulling this campaign together is expensive and LCV is already maxing out our budget. Your support is absolutely critical right now. Please renew your membership for just $5 and support LCV in this fight »

    Thank you for all you do.

    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters


  3. Wow. wow. wow. New emails show that the Trump administration buried a report on toxic chemicals contaminating drinking water in an attempt to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

    We’re calling on the Administration to release the full report IMMEDIATELY — but to make that happen, we need to mobilize — and fast.

    We need to get teams on Capitol Hill. Activists making calls. Flood congressional offices with letters.

    As it stands now, we can’t do it all. Not without your help. The best thing you can do to help right now is renew your membership for 2018. Right now, it only costs $5.

    Please, Lola — we need you now. Renew your LCV membership today for just $5 or more.

    The chemicals described in this report — known as PFOA, PFOS, and others in the PFAS family — are linked to thyroid defects, pregnancy complications and even cancer. Even low levels can cause serious health complications. States have been pleading with the EPA for help, and experts say that the contamination is so widespread, the chemicals are found in nearly every water supply that gets tested.

    There’s no excuse for keeping this report from the public. But getting it will be no easy task. The chemical industry will put forth a furious effort to keep this report buried.

    Here’s the thing though: The Trump Administration knows this is bad — and they’re running for cover. We’ve seen them scramble like this before — when the backlash from their offshore drilling plan expanded to deep-red areas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke started to backtrack.

    Moments like these show that winning this fight IS possible, even with the deck stacked against us. It’s critical that we show our strength — flooding Congress and the Trump administration with angry calls and letters — so that Trump feels the pressure to release the report.

    To make all this happen and keep things going strong, we need to raise $250,000 by the end of May — and if everyone reading this right now pitched in just $5, we’d blow through that goal in minutes.

    Lola, we need every one of our supporters to pitch in. Please, renew your LCV membership today for just $5.

    The future of our country’s environmental legacy is at stake — and we promise, we’ll never stop fighting. Thanks for all you do.

    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters


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