President Obama has declared a federal state of emergency in Michigan that will allow FEMA and other agencies to provide aid and assistance to the people of Flint who were poisoned by their own Republican governor.
According to a release from The White House:
The President today, in response to a request from the Governor submitted on January 14, 2016, declared that an emergency exists in the State of Michigan and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by contaminated water.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Genesee County.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding. This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.
Additionally, the President offered assistance in identifying other Federal agency capabilities that could support the recovery effort but do not require an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act.
The disaster declaration means that FEMA can now come into Flint and assist with providing aid to a population that was poisoned by their own Republican governor. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called on Rick Snyder to resign today because the governor and his administration knowingly poisoned the people of the city of Flint by Snyder knowingly poisoned the children of Flint by 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.
In typical Republican fashion, Gov. Snyder went crawling to Obama to clean up his mess after he poisoned an entire city in his state. The damage has already been done as hundreds of children have been sickened, and thousands have been exposed to chemicals that cause brain damage, but President Obama has immediately responded to Snyder’s request for federal aid, and the people of Flint are going to get the help that they need.
What happened in Flint was criminal, but before justice can be pursued, the people need water that is safe to use and drink. Unlike Gov. Snyder, President Obama is there for the people of Flint.