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In Flint Legionnaire’s outbreak, state prioritized PR strategy over federal aid

black and white bacteria under microscope
Wikimedia Commons
Transmission electron microscopy image of Legionella pneumophilia, responsible for over 90% of Legionnare's disease cases.


The federal government offered help with Flint’s Legionella outbreak, and the state of Michigan turned the offer down.

That’s what MLivereporter Ron Fonger has learned from Environmental Protection Agency documents released through the Freedom of Information Act.

Fonger joined us today to talk about what the EPA documents show and why the state rejected the offer of help.

“Back in the early part of 2015 [the state was] being offered help … not only by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but also the Environmental Protection Agency,” Fonger told us.

“The message that they were communicating at the time was the state was going to roll out a plan for how they were going to discuss this issue with the public before they were going to accept that help.”

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