On his visit to Flint, Michigan, Wednesday, President Obama drank a glass of water while delivering a speech, reports USA Today.
For almost two years, Flint’s drinking water has been contaminated with lead due to government officials’ failure to properly treat the water. The Environmental Protection Agency has assured Flint residents that filters can remove the lead and that the water was now safe to drink for everyone except pregnant women and children under the age of six.
“This was a man-made disaster. This was avoidable. This was preventable,” said Obama. “I do not believe that anybody consciously wanted to hurt the people of flint, and this is not the place to sort out every screw-up that resulted in contaminated water.”
“I came here to tell you directly that I see you, I hear you, and I want to hear directly from you about how this public health crisis has affected your lives,” he said. “I know you’re scared. A lot of you feel let down. I also came here to tell you that I’ve got your back.”
Obama assured Flint residence that the water was safe to drink as long as it was properly filtered, and even asked for a glass himself.
“I really did need a glass of water. This is not a stunt,” he said as he asked for water during a bout of coughing according to a tweet from USA Today’s digital editor. “If you’re using a filter, if you’re installing it, then Flint water at this point is drinkable.”
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