DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — The ongoing saga of Flint’s struggles with its water supply has been well-documented in local circles, but is now getting some national attention.
Rachel Maddow of MSNBC hosted a segment on her show Friday that outlined the timeline of everything that’s happened in Flint over the past 17 months. She also spoke about governor Rick Snyder’s legislation calling for the appointment of emergency managers as he sees fit.
Maddow said that Snyder’s appointment of emergency managers in Flint was directly responsible for the crisis that saw rising levels of lead in drinking water when the city switched from the Detroit water supply to the Flint River.
“Michigan made a decision with Rick Snyder a few years ago to do something very, very radical to the way we govern ourselves as Americans, something that nobody else has done,” Maddow said about the emergency manager law.
“This is the personal health equivalent of getting shot,” Maddow said. “This is not something that happened over a long period of time. They flipped a switch to turn off the spigot last April and turn on a different spigot. The spigot they turned on poisoned the kids. The kids of Flint, Michigan have been poisoned by a policy decision.
“Is Flint habitable anymore?” Maddow asked.
Test results also showed that lead levels in the water are lower now than they were over the summer, before Flint switched back to Detroit’s water supply in October.
“In Flint, remember what this problem is technically — corrosion by that river water that came through,” Maddow said. “The pipes are scoured out by untreated river water. Who knows how long they’re going to keep leaching lead.”
Genesee County had earlier declared a public health emergency in the area and told residents not to drink unfiltered tap water. FEMA delivered about 7,400 gallons of bottled water to a local food bank this week.
“Michigan made a decision with Rick Snyder a few years ago to do something very, very radical to the way we govern ourselves as Americans, something that nobody else has done,” Maddow said. “Now we’re getting in the first results of what they have done. I did not expect those to be blood test results from kids, but that’s what they are, that’s what Rick Snyder did.