Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was busy with draconian COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns ostensibly for the sake of public health. Meanwhile, a health crisis was bubbling up in Benton Harbor — literally.
Whitmer has been slow to respond to the community’s lead-laden water supply, Fox News reported. The city commissioners were forced to declare a state of emergency to get anything done about it.
“The city government, they failed us, and the state government failed us,” Rev. Edward Pinkney, leader of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, told the news outlet. “They failed the community. For three years, they did exactly nothing. For three whole years, they did exactly nothing.”
Pinkey said the community was forced to solve the problem that only really caught Whitmer’s attention now that it’s an election year. They’ve looped in the Environmental Protection Agency through the use of a petition which now makes the problem too prominent to ignore.
Still, the clergyman said it was up to the people of Benton Harbor to rally residents, including his church congregation that is “going door-to-door making sure that everybody here has clean drinking water.” Waiting so long for Whitmer to respond has brought them to the point where they have no choice but to. “Because we cannot take another chance of relying on them to do anything,” Pinkey said. “We have to do it ourselves.”
What’s required is the removal of old lead pipes that are leaching the heavy metal into the water supply. Despite the urgency of the problem, Whitmer’s office is estimating it will take up to a year to fix the problem.
“Newark, New Jersey had 20,000 and got it done in less than two years,” Pinkney said. “So there’s not a reason in the world we can’t get this done in six to 12 months.”
There is no data on how many people have been harmed or killed from the tainted water, according to Pinkey. Meanwhile, Whitmer continues to downplay the risk instead of telling Benton Harbor residents their water is actually “unsafe” to drink.
Whitmer was fully entrenched in the COVID-19 hysteria and forced many businesses and schools to close for long periods of time. She thought the virus was enough of a threat to take such drastic measures but isn’t quite as concerned for residents in Benton Harbor with tainted drinking water — until, that is, an election year rolled around.