One of the first things President Barack Obama did when he arrived in Flint, Michigan was allow reporters to observe him drinking crystal clear filtered Flint tap water.
Obama claimed the water he sipped was the same contaminated substance flowing through the cities rusted out pipes. Flint switched over from Detroit’s municipal water system to the Flint River in 2014, triggering the current water crisis.
“You should be angry,” Obama told parents inside a packed high school gym in Flint on Wednesday. “But channel that anger. You should be hurt, but don’t sink into despair. And most of all, do not somehow communicate to our children here in this city that they’re going to be saddled with problems for the rest of their lives, because they will not. They’ll do just fine.”
After his speech, Obama asked a staffer to bring him a glass of “filtered” tap water.
He made a show of sipping the water in front of reporters, while insisting that the water was safe for all Flint residents to drink.
“It just confirms what we know scientifically, which is that if you’re using a filter, if you’re installing it, then Flint water at this point is drinkable,” he said, to a round of applause from his supporters.
Obama promised the rusty pipes would be replaced by 2018 — long after he vacates the White House.