Detroit’s anti-lead program — beset with alleged shakedowns and bogus treatments, missing files, incompetence and mismanagement — was upended last year after such scorching claims were reported in state and federal investigations.
Among the sweeping reforms was a new standard, announced in March, setting sharp boundaries for what could be done for stricken kids based on the level of lead in their blood. Instead of starting nursing care at 10 micrograms per deciliter the new threshold was set at 20, creating a huge care gap for more than three-quarters of Detroit’s lead-poisoned children care, critics said.
In an effort to gain control of the troubled program, critics say, decisions were made with an eye more toward efficiency than children’s health.
So children such as Christian Matthews were turned down for treatment and suffered lasting damage.