Michigan State Police troopers and other state officials will start a door-to-door sweep of Flint on Tuesday to hand out bottled water and water filters, and the White House says it is monitoring the situation “very closely.”
The move, announced by the state Sunday, is intended to help address the ongoing water crisis in the city. Flint’s drinking water was contaminated with lead, and an unknown number of children were poisoned while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager in 2014 and 2015. The emergency manager, to cut costs, switched Flint’s water supply source from Lake Huron, supplied by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, to the more polluted and corrosive Flint River.
The door-to-door distribution follows an announcement Saturday that water would be available free at fire stations throughout the city.
The state said that if no one is at home during door-to-door visits, a flyer with information on how to get free water resources will be left.
The announcement came as the White House said Sunday during Meet the Press that it was monitoring the situation as part of a discussion on growing mistrust in government. The chief of staff to President Obama said the White House is watching the Flint situation “very closely.”
The discussion on the NBC News program hosted by Chuck Todd is the latest example of national media attention given to the crisis. The Flint public health emergency has also been featured prominently in the New York Times and on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.
The ongoing controversy in Flint also drew the attention of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who is traveling to Detroit for a fundraiser on Tuesday. She said Sunday evening that no parent should have to worry whether the water they and their kids are drinking is safe.
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SOURCE: USA Today
Paul Egan and David Jesse, Detroit Free Press