As Death Toll Rises in Flint, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha on Her Fight to Expose Lead Poisoning in City - Democracy Now!
A new report by PBS “Frontline” has found the death toll from the water crisis in Flint may be higher than Michigan officials have acknowledged. The state has admitted 12 people died following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in an attempt to save money. But according to PBS “Frontline,” the city also saw a spike in pneumonia deaths during the water crisis. Some of these deaths may have actually been caused by Legionnaires’ disease. Between April 2014 and October 2015, 119 people died of pneumonia in Flint—a jump of 46 percent from that same time period a year earlier. More than a dozen state and city officials are facing criminal charges in part for failing to alert the public to the risk of Legionnaires’ disease during the Flint water crisis. On Wednesday, Nick Lyon, the former head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, was in court for a hearing to determine whether he will stand trial on manslaughter charges. We speak to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint pediatrician who helped expose the dangerous levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water after she tested blood lead levels in children. Her new book is titled “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.”