Charleston, W.Va. - West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make representatives available directly to the people of West Virginian to explain data and answer outstanding questions related to the recent water crisis. Tennant committed to use all resources of the Secretary of State’s office to facilitate the dialogue if the CDC agrees.
“If the CDC will commit to hold an open an honest conversation with West Virginians, I will make every resource of the Secretary of State’s office available to help make it possible,” Tennant wrote in a letter to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden today.
Tennant suggested a number of options for facilitating the dialogue, including:
• an online chat forum,
• a telephone hotline, or
• mobile office hours in each of the nine counties impacted.
Tennant also asked the CDC to identify additional parties that should participate in order to provide West Virginians with complete answers. Read the letter here.
Tennant’s letter follows her January 17 request for the CDC to make testing data and methodology publicly available online. The CDC complied with Tennant’s request that same day. But Tennant noted too many West Virginians still do not trust their water and greater explanation is needed.
Tennant shared the stories of 1,364 West Virginians who signed her recent petition calling for answers with the CDC as part of today’s request.
“I ask you to read their stories and put yourself in their shoes. Understand their frustration. Ask yourself, what you would say to address their concerns if these were your own family members and neighbors,” Tennant wrote.