Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders urged Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to step down in light of his state’s ongoing and fatal water crisis that has sickened thousands of residents and left more than 30,000 Flint, Michigan households with undrinkable tap water.
“There are no excuses. The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov. Snyder should resign,” Sanders said in a statement Saturday.
Flint citizens filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, Snyder, and the state for not intervening in the water crisis, knowingly replacing safe drinking water with lead-poisoned water, and charging them for it.
Snyder called in the National Guard this week to help clean up the city’s water supply and distribute drinkable water. The governor also asked President Barack Obama to declare Flint’s crisis an emergency and major disaster.
State authorities are looking to investigate Michigan’s response to the water crisis. Michigan’s Attorney General announced its intent to see if any laws were violated that caused Flint’s water supply to be contaminated in the first place.
Politicians, especially on the right, have largely abstained from making public comments on Flint’s water crisis. Sanders’ presidential competitor, Hillary Clinton previously called for the Michigan government to compensate Flint residents for their water purchases and arranged a sit-down with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and two top campaign aides to discuss the water crisis.
Republican candidates, however, have remained mum on Flint but the GOP-led House of Representatives sent a strong message this week when it blocked a White House-sanctioned “Clean Water Rule.” The bill, which the Senate approved last year, would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to govern small waterways.
Sanders Statement: Michigan Governor Must Resign over Flint Lead-Poisoning Crisis pic.twitter.com/6hDPRg5iWw
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 16, 2016