During a visit to Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday, President Barack Obama took a sip of filtered water from the city in front of reporters, after he was challenged by a reporter to do so.
“Generally I haven’t been doing stunts, but here you go,” he said when asked by a reporter if the glass of water in front of him was from Flint. After taking a sip, Obama confirmed that “scientifically” it had been affirmed that if the water was filtered, it was drinkable. He cited the EPA’s conclusion that the filter was safe, except for children under six and pregnant women.
Obama met with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and federal officials to discuss the efforts to clean up the contaminated water, which has drawn national political attention.
“Filtered water is safe, and it works,” he said. “Working with the state and the city, filters are now available for everyone in the city.”
He also urged residents to take their young children to a doctor to make sure they were safe.
“I want everybody in the city of Flint to know that you should have your child checked,” he said.
He compared the lead situation in the water with the one-time crisis of lead being discovered in household paint.
“When I was five, or six, or seven, a lot of homes still had lead paint in it. I might have ingested some lead paint when I was two or three years old, because at the time, people didn’t know it,” he said, pointing out that many of the children who ate the paint turned out to be fine.
“So, we’ve got an entire couple of generations of Americans who have done really well despite the fact that they may have had something that is not optimal,” he said.