Quantcast
Connect with us

GOP lead-poisoning truthers say Flint water crisis ‘vastly overstated’ — and might even be ’a hoax’

Published

on

L. Brooks Patterson (WJBK)

A Michigan Republican suggested that Flint’s water crisis wasn’t all that bad — and might even be a hoax — during a lunch meeting of business leaders and elected officials.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Tuesday during the Detroit Economic Club luncheon that the water crisis had been “vastly overstated,” reported the Detroit Free Press.

ADVERTISEMENT

Blood testing has found dangerously high levels of lead in Flint’s children after the cash-strapped city stopped buying pretreated Lake Huron water from Detroit and instead began drawing highly corrosive water from the Flint River.

Patterson, however, said a GOP political analyst and former lawmaker who lives in Flint had opened a debate on the scandal during a radio interview.

“I think, well, that’s the other side,” Patterson said. “Let’s wait and see what the facts show.”

Bill Ballenger said during an appearance on WJR-AM that tests on his own blood had found no elevated lead levels.

BillBallenger (WJBK)

BillBallenger (WJBK)

ADVERTISEMENT

“This has been a vastly overblown crisis, perpetuated by a lot of politicians with an axe to grind and, for that matter, the news media, and some national figures, some political, some entertainers who don’t know what they’re talking about,” Ballenger told WJR’s Frank Beckmann.

Ballenger said scientists had not collected enough data to determine the seriousness of the contaminated water, which runs brown from the tap.

“I had my blood tested just yesterday, and I have no elevated blood-lead level — it’s way down there,” Ballenger said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The idea that the entire population of Flint has been poisoned and that we all have elevated blood-levels because of this is just a total canard,” Ballenger said. “It’s just a crock, and for this to be perpetuated as a story is doing a lot of damage to Flint as a community.”

Ballenger’s anecdotal data was good enough for Patterson to doubt whether Flint’s poor children, who don’t even have access to bottled water because the city lacks a single grocery store, had been exposed to contaminated water.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He was adamant that he lives in Flint, he drinks the water, he showers in that water,” Patterson said during the business luncheon.

Patterson said Ballenger had described the water crisis as “a hoax,” and said the situation was “one of the most overblown scandals in the history of the state.”

Ballenger stood by his remarks, saying that long-term results would not be known for years, but Patterson’s office said his comments had been misinterpreted by reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Patterson never said he agreed with Ballenger’s comments,” his office said in a statement. “He simply noted there are other viewpoints on the subject.”

Both men’s comments contrasted with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder — who has apologized for his administration’s failure to quickly and seriously respond to concerns about the taste, odor and appearance of Flint’s water.

The 77-year-old Patterson is no stranger to controversial remarks, especially when it comes to Oakland County’s less-affluent neighbor.

“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive,” he said during a 2014 interview. “Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough shit.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass,” Patterson added in an interview published by the New Yorker. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.’ ”

Watch this video report posted online by WJBK-TV:


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump tax returns show he held a bank account in China — as he spent years pursuing business deals there: report

Published

on

On Tuesday, as part of their series on President Donald Trump's tax returns, The New York Times revealed that the president has held a previously unknown bank account in China, as he spent years pursuing business deals in the country.

"Mr. Trump’s own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state," reported Mike McIntire, Russ Buettner, and Susanne Craig. "He spent a decade unsuccessfully pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

The FDA repeatedly stood up to Trump on coronavirus — and even won some victories: NYT

Published

on

President Donald J. Trump has repeatedly tried to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and now, with just two weeks until Election Day, the world is learning more about the behind-the-scenes battles that have shaken these governmental entities to the core.

Approximately two weeks after Trump's release from Walter Reed Medical Center, there is no "cure," as the president stated, and he is not "immune." No one is immune - and there is no successful vaccine, regardless of how much Trump claims one will arrive before Nov. 3. The F.D.A. published the guidelines in briefing materials to an advisory committee that will discuss them on Thursday, effectively making them official. To be clear, the F.D.A.has not approved Trump's miraculous cure of a cocktail - even though he has claimed differently.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Lawmakers more optimistic on COVID stimulus as election day looms

Published

on

Chances for approving a new spending package to support the US economy improved dramatically on Tuesday after the senior Democratic lawmaker said a bill is in the works and the top Senate Republican said he would bring it to a vote.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV that legislators are starting to commit the measure to paper and she is optimistic it can win bipartisan support.

Whether policymakers can complete the negotiations in time for Congress to approve the package before the November 3 presidential election, however, remains a question mark.

"Our economy needs it. Hopefully by the end of the day today, we will know where we are," she said in an interview. "We are starting to write the bill."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE