Mich. governor stands by Flint health crisis testimony
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) stands by his congressional testimony about his knowledge of health problems stemming from the Flint drinking water crisis despite trial testimony that contradicted him.
In a Thursday letter, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) asked Snyder to “amend or supplement” his congressional testimony that he was told about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint, Mich., in January 2016.
Last week, a top aide to Snyder told a Michigan court that he informed the governor about health problems in Flint in December 2015, following a meeting with city health officials. By then, Flint was suffering through a health crisis after the city switched its drinking water source as a cost-saving measure.
Snyder told Congress in March 2016 that he “didn’t learn of that until 2016.”
“As soon as I became aware of it, we held a press conference the next day,” he said then. “That was clearly a case where the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services should have done more to escalate the issue, to get it visible to the public and me.”
Snyder replied to the committee on Thursday, writing in a letter of his own that, “my testimony was truthful and I stand by it.”
He added, “I have specifically reviewed the question and answer referenced in your letter. While you have offered for me to clarify my sworn testimony, I do not believe there is any reason do so.”
Cummings said last week that he is “deeply concerned the governor may have misled the Oversight Committee and the people of Flint,” given the discrepancy between the two testimonies.
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Flint’s representative in the House, said Thursday that, “Either Governor Snyder or one of his top aides is not telling the truth.”
He added, “the people of Flint have lost faith in their government because of this crisis. The only way we can begin to restore their trust is by getting to the truth.”
— Updated at 5:14 p.m.
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