An interesting back-story to the drinking water crisis in Flint is the way the situation was finally brought to public light. The citizens were repeatedly lied to by their own government, and not just one branch of it either; the lying took place at the federal, state and local levels. Flint was lied to by both elected officials and the bureaucrats who were supposed to protect them.
The media deserves some love for keeping the story alive for more than a year until the facts overwelhmed the politicians, but the real heroes were scientists. Much has been written about Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician in Flint, who sounded one of the loudest alarms, but it was a team of environmental scientists at Virginia Tech University, devoting many hours of volunteer labor, who gathered the data needed to prove the fact that Flint’s water was dangerously contaminated. There is a very interesting piece on them in today’s New York Times.
They are a motley crew from a variety of countries. One of them, Joyce Zhu, a doctoral student, inadvertently provided a reminder of how America’s lack of investment in our infrastructure is greasing the skids on our path to second class nation status. The Times quotes Ms. Zhu:
“I grew up in Singapore, where clean water, you take it for granted…”
Remember when America used to be the place where you took outstanding public health for granted? Now it’s Singapore and they pity us.Comments Off