Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for a federal criminal investigation into Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration after it was revealed that the Snyder administration knew of a potential link between a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and the water in Flint, Michigan.
In a statement, Sanders responded to a report that state officials knew about a link between Legionnaires and Flint water.
The Democratic presidential candidate said:
The latest revelation about the public health crisis in Flint is horrifying. It is unacceptable that anyone on Gov. Snyder’s team would not act swiftly at even the slightest chance that residents were becoming seriously ill from the drinking water in Flint. 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.
Not only should Gov. Snyder resign immediately, the Justice Department must hold everyone accountable who knew about this crisis and did nothing. The federal government needs to take every possible measure to ensure that the people of Flint get clean drinking water as soon as possible.
The story of how the people of Flint were poisoned is not one of an unfortunate but unavoidable public health disaster. Contrary to the Republican spin, the true story of Flint is one of criminal negligence by a Republican governor and his administration who collectively turned a blind eye while people were poisoned.
Sanders is right. There must be a federal criminal probe into the administration and the governor himself. Rick Snyder has refused to take responsibility. The governor’s response to the crisis has been inadequate. Nationally, Republicans have been trying to devise mechanisms to make the victims pay for access to clean water.
What happened to children of Flint was a crime, and federal authorities must investigate and prosecute every member of the Snyder administration for the intentional mass poisoning of an American city.