Ald. Mark Borkowski
Press Release

Health Department mistakes worsen city’s lead crisis

Statement of Alderman Mark A. Borkowski - January 12, 2018

By - Jan 12th, 2018 04:52 pm

For an extended period of months, citizen activists have sounded an alarm about the City of Milwaukee’s lead water crisis and the slow response to it by the Barrett Administration. The single most serious threat to public health (maybe of all time) yet there have been times when things just didn’t seem right or add up about the city’s response.

Today, we learn that the Milwaukee Health Department failed to ensure adequate notification of thousands of families whose children tested positive for elevated lead levels in their blood. This huge failure stretching back to 2015 – according to the Mayor – was just brought to his attention earlier this week.

I find it a bit strange that the Mayor waits until today – Friday – (and the afternoon) to address the media about this huge failure. I have a feeling that there’s something strange going on here and I am certainly not buying everything the Mayor is telling us right now.

Some of us on the Council question all of the numbers that the Health Department has been dispensing, and I think the fair question is “are any of the numbers released by the Health Department over the past 15 years accurate?”

We have a primary, critical duty to protect the health and safety of our citizens and especially our children. I look forward to the Council’s investigation into this matter and, if need be, will encourage an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the state Attorney General to understand the totality and depth of this crisis.

Anything short of that will be a gross failure on the part of the city.

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