Despite overwhelming evidence of lead contamination and a timeline of evidence dating nearly two years, some GOP legislators and public figures are still not convinced that it isn’t all just one big charade by the residents of Flint to garner national attention.
L. Brooks Patterson, an Oakland County executive, said Tuesday during the Detroit Economic Club luncheon that the water crisis had been “vastly overstated,” reported the Detroit Free Press.Blood testing has found dangerously high levels of lead in Flint’s children after the cash-strapped city stopped buying pretreated Lake Huron water from Detroit and instead began drawing highly corrosive water from the Flint River.
Patterson, however, said a GOP political analyst and former lawmaker who lives in Flint had opened a debate on the scandal during a radio interview.
“I think, well, that’s the other side,” Patterson said. “Let’s wait and see what the facts show.”
Bill Ballenger said during an appearance on WJR-AM that tests on his own blood had found no elevated lead levels.
Patterson said Ballenger had described the water crisis as “a hoax,” and said the situation was “one of the most overblown scandals in the history of the state.”
Ballenger stood by his remarks, saying that long-term results would not be known for years, but Patterson’s office said his comments had been misinterpreted by reporters.
So, in the eyes of legislators scrambling to pass the blame while the entire world watches with horror: We aren’t yet sure there really is a crisis, we won’t be able to conclude there is a crisis for several more years, at the point that we’re ready to draw conclusive analysis it might all just be a hoax, and the media is making all of this up.