The Flint pediatrician who broke the news of the Flint water crisis was one of the thousands who took to Washington, D.C. on Saturday as part of the March for Science to protest what she and others view as President Donald Trump's dangerously anti-scientific agenda.
Wearing a dress emblazoned with a neuron pattern, Hanna-Attisha spoke as one of the event's three co-chairs, warning that we could see more crises on the level of Flint's under the Trump administration.
"Flint is what happens when we dismiss science," she said. "Flint is what happens when we dismiss experts."
Hanna-Attisha elaborated on her thoughts in an interview with Huffington Post
. "We right now have the perfect milieu for more Flints to come, in regard to the denial of science," she said. "The regulations that were on the books to make Flint not happen — the lead and copper rule, public health regulations, water regulations, air regulations — those are all being threatened right now."
She said the Flint water crisis destroyed the trust in the government. "You assume that when you turn on your tap that your water is OK," she said. "To realize that the people in government who are supposed to do their job to ensure that your water is OK weren’t doing their job, that not only shattered my trust, that shattered the trust of the entire population."
And under Trump, she said, things could get much worse. Among other things, Trump has called climate change a "hoax," and has proposed a 31 percent cut in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.
"If we couldn’t trust what we had before, how can we trust what we have now?" she said. "It is a scary time."
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha served as one of the event's three co-chairs, alongside biologist Lydia Villa-Komaroff and celebrity Bill Nye.
While working at Flint's Hurley Medical Center, it was Hanna-Attisha who noticed an increase in lead levels in the blood of Flint children. She released a report in September 2015. After initially being attacked and dismissed, officials finally acknowledged the crisis in December.
"I was loud, I was stubborn, and science spoke truth to power," Hanna-Attisha said at the march.
Tuesday marks three years since Flint officials made the disastrous decision to switch the water source to the corrosive Flint River, which caused the water crisis. The history is part of this week's Metro Times cover story
by Curt Guyette.