Although Flint, Michigan no longer dominates national headlines, that doesn’t mean the problems have been fixed.
The state of emergency for Flint has been extended until August 14. The state and city are now treating their lead-contaminated pipes with higher levels of phosphates in an attempt to build up a protective coating in the pipes to prevent the lead from getting back into the water supply.
Unfortunately, to build the protective coating, residents must begin using tap water again.
In an effort to encourage this, Gov. Rick Snyder has promised to use Flint tap water for the next 30 days. Meanwhile, researchers are now trying to determine if the lead-contaminated water is connected to Legionnaires’ disease, which is linked to 10 deaths in the area.
Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the latest details in the ongoing Flint water crisis and what is currently being done to rectify the man-made disaster that has poisoned an American city.
Mayor Weaver told Martin it has been two years since the people of Flint have been able to drink the water and she is “unimpressed” with Gov. Snyder’s promise to drink Flint’s tap water for 30 days. “Is he trying to prove a point to drink it at a time where treatment has already taken place? We’re not on the Flint river water,” said Weaver.
Mayor Weaver said the $30 billion Flint water bill relief will end this month and officials are hoping the water will be safe to drink in May. But Dr. Weaver said that won’t be the case.
Despite what Gov. Snyder believes about the safety of Flint’s drinking water, there are still pipes that have to be replaced.
The battle over what can be done to rectify the Flint water crisis has appeared in the nation’s capital, where Republican Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is standing in the way of $220 million in funding that was allocated for the removal of lead leaching pipes and for long-term health care services.
According to The Detroit News, “Lee has said Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature should tap the state’s $565 million rainy day fund to pay for Flint’s needs” and not the federal government.
Mayor Weaver believes Sen. Lee has taken this stance on the $220 million because some feel as though Michigan has not “paid their share, so we’re not going to pay our share.” As a result of this standpoint, “Nobody is helping the people of Flint.”
Dr. Weaver requested viewers contact Sen. Lee and ask him to stop blocking the funds for Flint. She told Martin the people of Utah should be wary of their Senator because, “What if this happens to them? Can they not count on him in their own state as well?”
“We do need people to put pressure on Senator Mike Lee,” Mayor Weaver said.
If you are interested in contacting Utah Sen. Mike Lee and asking that he change his stance on the funding for the Flint water crisis, please call his office in Washington, D.C. at 202-224-5444, or reach out to him via Twitter at @.
Watch Roland Martin, Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the latest developments in Flint in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
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