Apr 20, 2019

Flint residents can sue federal government, judge rules

Protests during then-candidate Donald Trump's visit to the Flint Water Treatment Plant on September 14, 2016. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Flint, Michigan residents can proceed with more than a dozen lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency and the federal government in connection with increased levels of lead in the city's water supply, CNN reports.

By the numbers: Fetal death rates jumped by 58% in Flint after the city's water was found to be contaminated with high levels of lead in 2014 and 2015, and fertility rates for women dropped by 12%, per a 2017 study. Fifteen state and local officials have been criminally indicted in connection with the Flint water crisis, 4 of whom were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

"The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold. It is anticipated, however, that the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come."
— US Judge Linda V. Parker in Thursday's ruling

The other side: The EPA declined to comment on Thursday's ruling, which stated that the federal government is not immune to legal action in these cases, according to CNN.

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World