A new report from PBS suggests that the death toll in Flint, Michigan may be much higher than the state has claimed.
The culprit seems to be Legionnaire’s disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia that is caused by legionella bacteria.
The team focused on the 18-month time period between 2014 and 2015 during which the city of Flint, Michigan was drawing its water from the Flint River.
The discovery suggests that the 15-month delay on the part of state officials to alert the community to the contagion may have directly caused these deaths.
“There was a clear, willful and wanton disregard… knowing that someone was going to get sick, someone was going to die. And they sat on the information, and that being specifically Director Nick Lyon.” — Todd Flood, state appointed special prosecutor
Instead of focusing on the corroded pipes that were leaching lead into Flint’s water supply, officials instead turned their attention to McLaren Flint Hospital, which they accused of being the source of the outbreak.
This was despite the fact that state epidemiologists had ruled out the healthcare facility based on preliminary data.
All of this news comes as former head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Nick Lyon attended a court hearing to determine whether or not he will go to trial on manslaughter charges for his mishandling of the situation.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.
To read our piece commemorating Flints 1,400th day without clean water, click here.