The shattered remains of the black-ruled city of Detroit continues on its downwards spiral, with the latest disasters to strike the once magnificent city being a shortage of paper to print death certificates, the closing of a prestigious medical research center and reports of “tens of thousands” of wild dogs overrunning the streets.
The death certificate shortage started on July 23, when the city stopped issuing certified copies of birth and death certificates.
Certified copies of death certificates require a special embossed paper, and the city’s supplier of this special paper asked to be paid in cash—and the city refused, insisting instead that it be granted further credit.
This was unacceptable to the supplier—who was apparently already owed for several unpaid invoices—and the supply of embossed paper dried up. As a result, the city was unable to issue any more death certificates.
The problem was only resolved when the supplier was guaranteed payment by specially appointed emergency manager Kevin Orr’s office—subsidized at federal level.
Nonetheless, funeral home directors were astonished as they “had never witnessed a death certificate system collapse,” according to a report in the Detroit News. (Obviously they have never been to the African nation of Zimbabwe, where a similar “financial crisis” and resultant “paper shortage” caused a halt in the printing of money in that country).
Meanwhile, Orr’s office announced that the illustrious Herman Kiefer Complex will close October 1—another move which will affect the city’s record keeping.
All the city’s records departments will close and (majority white) Wayne County will have to assume responsibility for issuing birth and death certificates.
The Herman Kiefer Complex, opened in 1893 to treat epidemics and viral disease, was once a sprawling complex that included a psychiatric hospital, maternity ward and tuberculosis care.
When the hospital opened its maternity ward in 1919, a Detroit News reporter described it as follows:
“White enamel, marble, tiling, glass, metal work is everywhere, shining, spotless, sanitary to the last degree. The ward is the long-missing link in the city’s chain of institutions to protect the health of the coming generation.”
CNN has reported that Detroit’s streets are now also being overrun by packs of wild stray dogs, yet another potent symbol of the total collapse of the city under black rule.
The CNN report said that “tens of thousands of stray dogs roam the streets. The problem isn’t a result of the city’s bankruptcy filing. In fact, it’s been a vicious cycle in this city for decades.”
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