The results of City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s audit showing that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene falsified lead testing reports leaves us outraged and baffled.
How could anyone in charge of making sure these tests get done be so unconcerned and thoughtless with a problem so serious.
Children have lost their lives to lead poisoning; many more have suffered lifelong health problems. This is not a minor issue.
What makes this situation different than the type of careless action that lead to the poisoning of the water in Flint, Michigan? In that case, bureaucrats carelessly made a decision to save money and time without thinking of the possible effects on the population. The same thing rings true here.
To hear that it is not uncommon for day cares to not have their water tested before they are issued permits to open is mind-boggling. We get it’s a big city and red tape takes time to clear, but we’re talking about the health and safety of children. How can parents trust that the centers they’re leaving their kids at all day are safe?
Day care is a necessity in a city with such a high cost of living. It is especially vital for poor and minority children whose families utilize day cares more often than affluent children. Might that be a reason why our government isn’t willing to cross every t and dot every i?
We say let’s haul officials from the DOH in front of a committee and let them explain their carelessness, and let’s make sure we prioritize the health and safety of children before meeting deadlines.