State Chief Medical Officer Hid Flint Data, WSU Doctor Says

Eden Wells

More damaging evidence surfaces in the Flint water scandal.

An email exchange obtained by the Detroit News shows Wayne State professor of medicine Marcus Zervos accused Michigan Chief Medical Officer Eden Wells of trying to conceal information related to the connection between Flint’s lead contaminated water and a 2014-15 Legionnaires’ outbreak. Zervos is also division head of infectious diseases at Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System.

Zervos writes that  Wells was trying to “suppress our findings of the serious deficiencies in the investigations and mitigation efforts” of the state and Flint area health departments related to the Legionnaires’ outbreak, according to early March emails reporters Michael Gerstein and Jonathan Oosting of The Detroit News got from the state in an open records request.

Zervos refers to a Wayne State-led investigation he was involved in that was studying whether Flint’s switch to Flint River water in April 2014 was responsible for a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that killed 12 and sickened 79 others in the Flint area in 2014-15. The state of Michigan contracted with the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership in March 2016 for the $3.1 million study.

Wells is charged with lying to a special police agent and obstructing justice.

She's accused of obstructing justice by “threatening to withhold funding for the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership if the partnership did not cease its investigation into the source of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint." Wells' attorney says she did has done nothing wrong.

The state has also charged the following with involuntary manslaughter:

  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon
  • Former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley
  • Former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith
  • DEQ Water Supervisor Stephen Busch. 
Read more:  The Detroit News

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