Emails between high-ranking Michigan state officials show they knew about an uptick in Legionnaires’ disease and it could be linked to problems with Flint water long before Governor Rick Snyder said he got information on the outbreak.
A spokesman for Snyder rejected the report by the liberal group Progress Michigan on Thursday. Emails obtained by the group show Snyder’s principal aide, Harvey Hollins, was made aware of the outbreak and a possible link to the use of Flint River water last March.
Snyder said in January he had just learned about the rise in Legionnaires cases.
“Are we to believe that a top staffer with years of experience would not inform Governor Snyder of a possibly deadly situation?” Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott said in a statement.
The group cited an email from March 13, 2015, that showed Hollins and Dan Wyant, the former head of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), were aware of the increase in Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County, where Flint is located, and that a county health official was attributing the cases to the Flint River.
State officials on Jan. 13 announced the spike in the disease resulting in 10 deaths possibly linked to the water crisis.
In rejecting the group’s claims, a spokesman for Snyder said that the DEQ emails called attributing the link to problems with Flint water “beyond irresponsible.”
Hollins asked the department to investigate and if the concerns were credible it was to tell Snyder, the spokesman said in an email.
“The issue was not brought to the Governor’s attention until January of this year,” he said.
Flint, a city near Detroit, was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched the source of its tap water from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in April
The city switched back last October after tests found high levels of lead in children’s blood samples. The more corrosive water from the river leached more lead from the city pipes than Detroit water did. Lead is a toxic agent that can damage the nervous system.
Legionnaires is a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling mist infected with the bacteria Legionella..
Several Democratic lawmakers on Thursday invited Snyder to Washington to testify on the Flint water crisis on Feb. 10.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Andrew Hay, Bernard Orr)
The ‘divine right’ presidency: Trump has identified the USA with himself and claimed unprecedented powers to do whatever he wants
Trump’s latest use of our government to cover up his mistakes, this time about weather forecasting, is revealing about the nature of his Presidency.
No government weather maps showed Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama. On Thursday, August 29, Trump was briefed in the Oval Office on the Hurricane by the head of FEMA, which released a photo of him looking at a map of where Dorian had been and where it was headed. A white curved line showed the areas that Dorian might possibly hit. Not Alabama.
Meghan McCain gets fact-checked on new Kavanaugh accuser — and asks if Clarence Thomas got impeached
"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg had to fact-check Meghan McCain's description of a New York Times correction in a bombshell new report about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The newspaper reported that the FBI failed to interview former Yale classmates about sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh during the confirmation process last fall, and the authors of a new book found a new accuser.
McCain pointed to an editor's note appended to the story that she believes casts doubt on the new reporting, but Goldberg asked her to clean up some of the claims she made.
Bernie Sanders just lost an important progressive endorsement to Elizabeth Warren
The Working Families Party, a progressive political party that endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president in 2016, has now endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president.
The New York Times reports that the labor-aligned organization's members overwhelmingly backed Warren's candidacy.
A spokesperson for the party tells the Times that "tens of thousands" of party members backed Warren's candidacy and that she received 60 percent of votes on the first ballot.