One of the near constant refrains we hear from the GOP is that government should be run like a business. Well, take a good long look. Flint, Michigan, the subsequent lead in the water crisis, and now the outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that has claimed 10 lives, is what happens when you do.
This is austerity, as promoted by Republican austerocrats. This is also criminal, laying bare the old maxim: “Austerocrats want less government for the same reason criminals want fewer police.”
87 cases, 10 fatal
Several years ago, in 2014, the emergency manager for the city of Flint, Michigan decided, to save money, Flint would stop buying water from Detroit and start using the local Flint River as a source of water, instead.
Now, for many residents in Flint, the Flint River is the butt of jokes. It’s a dirty river. It’s not safe to drink out of; not without heavy treatment. But Republicans love cost-cutting measures, especially when they hurt cities, so the decision was made from on high and the city switched over.
Even before the lead disaster was discovered, there were cases of Legionella, also called Legionnaire’s disease, in the water supply. From June 2014 to March 2015, there were 45 confirmed cases of Legionella bacteria discovered in Flint water. Seven of those were fatal.
From March 2015 to November 2015 there were 42 confirmed cases. Three of those were fatal — for a total of 87 cases, 10 of which were fatal.
More people in Flint, Michigan died from the hair-brained Republican austerity bullsh*t leading to an outbreak of Legionella than died from the “outbreak” of Ebola storming our southern border.
And make no mistake, that’s intentional. The GOP used Ebola to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment in their base to see if it’d work. That’s why Ebola was everywhere — and when this outbreak of Legionella was discovered, it was covered up. Well, that and this was caused by Republican policies, whereas with Ebola, they could just blame Obama.
People knew the water was strange almost from the start, but they were ignored. The state government insisted nothing was wrong, but they were hiding something.
While conspiracy theorists in the right-wing were out there chasing after Jade Helm because the Federal Government was going to take over Texas and force them into shuttered Walmart buildings, the administration of Rick Snyder continued to bury an actual conspiracy the right-wing didn’t care about. Certainly not Snyder – he was too busy using it as a curtain to cram through more anti-democracy legislation sponsored by ALEC.
Besides, the population of Flint is mostly African-American. It’s not like Republicans care about black people, they’re too busy not being racists to care.
And now 10 people are dead because of it — from an actual outbreak, not Ebola, buried under an actual conspiracy, not Jade Helm, caused by Republican austerity and moronic idea we should run the world like a business. Is it any wonder they chase after fictional problems? They cause almost all the real ones.
But, it’s too late for those 10 people, and the countless others poisoned by lead.
Feature image via Facebook