Last week, American Family Association official Sandy Rios spoke on her radio program with a caller who was angry that Rios and other conservatives aren’t talking about the Flint water crisis, where policies imposed by the state’s Republican administration directly led to the poisoning of the city’s water supply.
Rios responded by blaming the city’s (powerless) Democratic city officials for the lead poisoning catastrophe and alleged that the disaster in Flint is less important than the threat from ISIS and “our out-of-control borders.”
She then managed to link outrage over the Flint crisis to coverage of the Zika virus outbreak in South and Central America: “The whole issue in Michigan — the left loves to, they’re now creating this, I’m sorry, I’m going to really go out on a limb here, this Zika virus which I haven’t talked about. They love to come up with tragedies and they love to blame and they love to scare people. I think this issue in Michigan is a serious one but I don’t think it’s the big issue that these other issues are.”
When the listener told Rios that she was “devaluing black life” by dismissing the importance of the turmoil in Flint, she insisted that that was impossible because she had no idea whether Flint residents are predominantly black or white.
While Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, isn’t very concerned with the poisoning of thousands in Flint and seems to think that the Zika virus is a liberal scare tactic, she hasn’t been above stirring up actually baseless fears, alleging that Central American migrants would spread measles, Enterovirus D68 and other diseases around the U.S.