The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been the subject of media attention and national outrage during the past many months, and the people of Flint are in the early stages of seeking justice for the negligent actions of their government. Lead poisoning was seen as the largest concern initially because it effects young children in drastic ways that can permanently alter cognitive and physical development. However, other ailments, such as Legionnaires’ disease, were not focused on quite as much. In fact, some victims and families of victims believe that the government intentionally kept quiet about confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease so as not to raise any public outcry that would add to the lead level concerns.
Troy Kidd, son of the deceased Debra Kidd said, “I think it’s a cover-up. I think it stinks. I think they knew there was more going than what they wanted to let on.” Troy was referring to the health officials of Genesee County and their handling of potential and confirmed Legionnaires’ disease cases. Debra Kidd died two months after the Department of Health declared the outbreak over, and her son feels that it was too early for the DoH to make a blanket statement like they did.
Additionally, others are not being informed about the specifics of their condition while being treated. Connie Taylor only found out that she had Legionnaires’ disease after she demanded her medical records. When asked if she was ever told by the hospital that she had Legionnaires’ disease she replied, “They did not tell me that. they did not tell my family that.”
It’s scary to think that institutions would try and downplay the severity of situations in which people are getting really sick and sometimes dying. It’s understandable that officials don’t want the situation to get any worse, but there comes a time when those responsible need to step forward an own up to their actions, regardless of the consequences.
For further information on these familes, please see the following article: KNOE News