The tap water in Flint, Michigan has become toxic. Around half of the water service lines to Flint homes are made of lead, and it appears that the water wasn't adequately treated, so the pipes corroded and allowed lead to leach in. How and why did such a thing happen in this country? It’s a complex story and a political hot potato. Let’s see what different sides of the media spectrum are saying about it.
Snippets from the Left
OPINION:Time to press the presidential candidates on Flint’s water crisis
Washington Post
"If Snyder were a Democrat, you can be sure [the GOP candidates would] be blaming him, but he isn’t. They aren’t going to say that this disaster demonstrates that the problems that affect poor and black people are given less attention by government at all levels than the problems that affect rich and white people, because most of them don’t think that’s actually true. They aren’t going to say that this shows that we need a major investment in infrastructure spending in America, because they don’t really believe that, either.
But those are the broader issues that the catastrophe in Flint raises, and that’s what the candidates ought to be pressed on… The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the country’s drinking water system a grade of “D” and says that in the next couple of decades we will need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps even into the trillions, in order to bring the system up to where it should be."
Snippets from the Right
OPINION:Through Hell and Flint Water
Wall Street Journal - Opinion
"Hillary Clinton and most of the media are peddling this as a parable of Republican neglect of a poor black city. But the real Flint story is a cascade of government failure, including the Environmental Protection Agency.
An auto factory town some 65 miles from Detroit, Flint has been under emergency management since 2011 after decades of misrule: More than 40% of residents live in poverty; the population has fallen by half since the 1960s to about 100,000. Bloated pensions and retiree health care gobble up about 33 cents of every dollar in the general fund.
The broader lesson is that ladling on layers of bureaucracy doesn’t result in better oversight and safety. It sometimes lets agencies shirk responsibility for the basic public services like clean water that government is responsible for providing."
Snippets from the Center
'Our mouths were ajar': Doctor's fight to expose Flint's water crisis
"The percentage of children in Flint with lead poisoning had doubled, she says.
'In some neighborhoods, it actually tripled. (In) one specific neighborhood, the percentage of kids with lead poisoning went from about 5%, to almost 16% of the kids that were tested,' she says. 'It directly correlated with where the water lead levels were the highest.'
The findings went against trends across the country, which had seen lead levels dropping every year.
'Our mouths were ajar, and we couldn't believe that in 2016 now, in the middle of the Great Lakes, we couldn't guarantee a population access to good drinking water,' she says."