Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demanded that Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder resign after hundreds of children were sickened by lead in the drinking water of the city of Flint, Michigan.
In a statement, Sanders said:
There are no excuses. The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov. Snyder should resign.
Because of the conduct by Gov. Snyder’s administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives. Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems. The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.
Sanders is correct. What Snyder and his administration have done is criminal. Snyder knowingly poisoned the children of Flint. Snyder caused the problem by appointing a receiver to Flint, who decided to save money by drawing the city’s drinking water from the polluted Flint River instead of Lake Huron. The governor’s Department of Environmental Quality made the decision not to add chemicals to the water to prevent the corrosion of pipes. The state department of health knew about the elevated levels of lead in the blood of the city’s children but did not warn the public.
Public safety is the primary duty of every governor. Rick Snyder intentionally poisoned the children of Flint to save a few bucks that could be redirected to the wealthy and corporations in the state.
Michigan’s attorney general has opened a criminal investigation into the poisoning of Flint’s kids. What has happened in Flint is one of the greatest criminal acts but public officials in decades. The people of Flint deserve more than an investigation by the attorney general. Federal authorities are also investigating what happened in Flint.
Gov. Snyder, his appointees, and members of his administration should face criminal charges for what has happened in Flint. A resignation shouldn’t get Snyder off of the hook. What the governor did was criminal, and he must be held accountable for his crimes.