UPDATE 4:30 p.m. ET:
In a speech in Flint on Wednesday, Obama called for bipartisan action in Congress to address the need for new infrastructure in the city, including a call for new piping and filters in the homes of residents.
“It’s not enough to just fix the water. We’ve got to fix the culture of neglect,” Obama said, adding that it spreads to other problems such as decaying roads and schools.
Obama was greeted to a much more welcoming crowd than that of Gov. Snyder, who was constantly booed and heckled as he took the stage ahead of the president.
“Let me begin by saying I understand why you are angry and frustrated. I want to come here today to apologize,” Snyder said to an uneasy crowd.
Obama sought to calm the crowd and the anger toward Snyder, whom he said he was working with to try and solve the issues at hand.
“Our kids will be fine, but you now have to take action,” Obama said to the crowd, urging parents to take advantage of the recent expanded Medicaid in the state.
Original story is as follows.
Washington (Talk Media News) – President Barack Obama drank water from Flint, Michigan during his visit to the city Wednesday to demonstrate that their water is safe once filtered.
“Generally, I haven’t been doing stunts but here you go,” Obama said before taking a sip from a glass containing water from the city.
The exchange took place in front of reporters following a meeting at a foodbank between the President and local and federal officials.
Flint’s water supply was contaminated after the city started taking water from the Flint River instead of Lake Huron in 2014. High levels of iron in the water corroded pipes and introduced the presence of lead.
Obama’s visit, which the White House has said is aimed at showing the community has the President’s support, also includes a speech at North Flint High School to about 1,000 residents and meetings with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D).
In January, Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint. The city has since transitioned into a federal disaster area.
The administration has worked to expand Medicaid coverage for those with lead contamination and to increase testing of children potentially exposed.