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Name: 20160310_SpecialReport-16_Alex
Air Date: March 10, 2016
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So many children have lead in their blood in Flint, Michigan.
A federal emergency has been declared.
We're going to be speaking with a resident of Flint, Michigan today, Richard Krause, and we're going to learn about how this has affected him as well as his family.
Richard, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story.
So tell me a little bit about your experience.
When did you first start to notice that something wasn't right?
Well, it was the summer.
My children,
We're coming down with skin rashes and my daughter was coming down with asthma.
And we're a very healthy, athletic family who come from the mountains of Steamboat, Colorado.
And we go to the doctors and they really couldn't tell us what was going on.
And then later in the fall, it comes out that our Flint water is contaminated.
And these are some of the symptoms.
Look for itchy skin, loss of hair, asthma, all these different things that my family has occurred.
My youngest grandson, who's just going to be two this month, January 23rd, has a high level of lead content in his body now because of our great infrastructure of Flint that is crumbling as we speak.
There's been numerous other things.
My wife has epilepsy and it's caused her problems.
Right, because, yeah, the lead is really damaging neurologically.
Exactly.
So all these things.
And me and my wife, the whole time we've lived in Flint for about five years now, have really only drank reverse osmosis water.
Because when we come to this town, we realize that the infrastructure had leaks everywhere you drove around the city.
There's a leak, water running down the street, a leak over here.
And I used to be in infrastructure, and the EPA requires us that do underground work to report and immediately repair any leaks so no bacteria or contaminations can get into the lines.
Well, the city of Flint is claiming that the reason we have lead
It's because of our old houses here, which I agree that is partial of the problem.
Water has been tested with TTHMs and also has given out numerous boil water notices.
And this is all since 2014.
Residents have been complaining of rashes, losses, and this is coming off some documentation of the city here that I'm reading off.
But yet our government
We're two years into this now and they just started realizing in September that there's a problem for two years now?
Right, so how did you feel about that knowing that there were several instances that we're learning about now where they tried to
Defraud, I guess you would say, or debunk the findings of the pediatrician who was taking blood samples from little kids because that's something the state requires for Medicaid, Medicare, is to take those blood samples of children.
So that's how she was able to really build a case for this.
And then we learned that the city at first tried to tell her, well, we've taken our own water samples.
That's not correct.
How infuriating was that to you?
Oh, it's just infuriating, you know, being a patriot behind my country and then realizing that I'm living in a third world America.
They say don't drink the water in Mexico.
Come on now.
We're living in America and we can't drink the water in one of the greatest industrial towns there was at one time.
Absolutely.
And that's one of the big issues is that it's just crumbling infrastructure.
I mean, at least if you go to Mexico, you have those warnings and you know that you have the potential to get sick.
Here, your state officials were coming out telling you everything's fine.
You just need to boil the water.
Meanwhile, one of the main chemicals that they weren't able to stop, it's really awful if you inhale it.
So for instance, if you're taking a nice hot shower in five degree weather, that's when it's incredibly damaging.
So I'm hearing that there are a lot of businesses.
Talk about a crumbling infrastructure.
How is this affecting businesses in that area?
Because I personally wouldn't want to go eat at a restaurant where I wasn't sure if they didn't have, you know, old lead pipes.
Well, it's kind of amazing.
You know, we have Flint Township.
We have Grand Blanc Township, which in our area are classified as the more upper areas of our area.
We all know
Being in the infrastructure business, that the water is distributed amongst all those communities from Flint, and Flint even sells them the water.
And when you go to the restaurants, they're like, oh, we don't have Flint city water, we have Flint township water.
Like that's any different.
Right.
But it's not.
They're trying, the government here is trying to say that it is different.
But if you put yourself in the ground, you know that they're all connected from township to township.
And they even told us that they sell water to those cities.
So why aren't they being checked?
Right, and I know a lot of this is probably just trying to drive down the panic, but here now you have almost upwards of 7,000 children who are being really, they're going to be devastated with these side effects of lead poisoning for decades.
So how does it make you feel?
Do you agree with Michael Moore or Hillary Clinton when they are saying that this is a race issue, this is a class issue?
Do you agree with that?
I don't agree that it's a race issue at all.
I agree that it's an issue against all the people.
The government
If they cared about, uh, individual race.
Well, I'm a white man and I'm drinking the water.
Yeah.
Um, my, my skin color isn't, you know, I don't think it comes down to skin color.
I think it comes down to why did our government, why did our city officials, our state officials,
Let our infrastructure become so decrepit that we're considered a third world city now.
Right.
Well, Detroit, I mean, they actually had to file bankruptcy.
They're not able to get some federal funding.
And of course, like you said, this is one of the greatest cities in America.
You know, the Americana there from Michigan.
So talk to me.
Have you joined any of these lawsuits?
Are you looking to join any of the lawsuits that have been filed recently?
Yeah, well I haven't joined any yet.
I'm currently looking into having my own separate lawsuit because the class action lawsuit isn't really going after what the problems were.
They're just going after what lead problems were, when really there's all kinds of issues, not just the lead.
There's the chlorination, there's the bacterias, there's the Legionnaires' disease, there's, you know,
It's just on and on right now, but according to them, it's, you know, a simple little fix.
Well, and that's I think the reason why they're probably going with the lead poisoning is because that's a sure thing, done deal, whereas every single water municipality that has their water treated is getting the chlorine.
They're using different sort of coagulants to try and clean out the water depending on where they're pulling the water from.
And so that's what people need to understand is this is happening all across the country.
You really never know what type of mixture you're getting with your water municipality and people need to
Kind of understand that this is not just local to the Flint area.
Now we just have about a minute left.
Are you happy with the response from the governor?
Are you happy with what they're doing now?
I'm not happy with any response at all because they keep bureaucracy moving in the air constantly of what they should do for the problem.
The problem is simple.
Dig up the old pipe and replace it.
How are they going to pay for it?
Well, that's exactly what Americans have to accept.
We're broke.
We don't have any money.
Our government has spent it in other areas and not on our own country.
We need to reel America in and make it back the great country it once was.
Look at Flint now.
Is it the great city it once was?
Is Flint part of America, the great country of development, the great country of freedom?
The great country of, you know, supposedly do whatever you want, but I don't, you know, feel happy with anything that's going on right now within our government.
They're just all...
Up in arms, telling us folks what we should do.
Right, and you know, that is one of the biggest excuses for a big government.
That's the main thing they're supposed to take care of, is the infrastructure of this country.
And as we can see, it's been a huge failure, not only there in Flint, but Michigan, other places as well.
Richard, thank you so much, and we look forward to speaking with you when we touch down in Flint tomorrow.
Yes, ma'am.
Just give me a call.
I'll be glad to show you the city and help you with any information or anything you need while you're here.
Thank you.
I'm not gonna sit here and take it anymore!
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