Democracy Now interviewed Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the doctor who helped expose the lead poisoning. Dr. Hanna-Attisha headed a September study that found the proportion of children under five in Flint with elevated lead levels in their blood nearly doubled following the water switch. State officials initially dismissed those findings, but Dr. Hanna-Attisha refused to accept their denials. On Thursday January 14, she was named the head of a new public health initiative to help those exposed to the contamination.
DR. MONA HANNA–ATTISHA: Yes. So, I am willing to work with anybody for the benefit of children, and I was at that press conference with the governor and with state health officials, who we are working with now. However, they said that only 43 people since October had elevated lead levels. And it really minimizes this population-wide exposure. This is an entire population who was exposed to this neurotoxin. So when you say these small numbers, it just—once again, the population loses trust in government and in their ability to protect people.
Mlive, Jan 14 – Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha says she couldn’t stop shaking her head “no” during a news conference with Gov. Rick Snyder Monday, Jan. 11, as a Snyder appointee spoke about blood lead levels in Flint.
When Nick Lyon, director of the state Department of Health & Human Services, said recent blood tests produced about 40 cases of lead poisoning, Hanna-Attisha said she “couldn’t keep my expressions to myself.”
Hanna-Attisha said she continued to shake her head because she felt Lyon’s comments minimized the damage caused by lead poisoning in Flint.