Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has chosen a new crisis in which to lend a hand — the Flint, Michigan, lead-contaminated water problem.
Following the construction of a miniature submarine, which was ultimately not used in the rescue of a Thai soccer team stuck in an underwater cave, Elon Musk has chosen to help the people of Flint, Michigan, with an issue they have been facing for some time — high levels of lead in the town’s water supply.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Musk stated that he plans to personally fund the repair of Flint’s water system, offering to fix the problem in any house that has water contamination above FDA levels. Musk reportedly plans to organize a weekend in Flint to add filters to multiple houses still receiving unclean water.
However, there’s one small problem. Much of Flint, Michigan, has clean water or water below FDA allowable levels. A sample of 92 homes from Flint in April showed that levels were well below acceptable FDA standards. When CNET reporter Sean Hollister asked Musk about this, Musk replied that Hollister was correct that most houses in Flint now have safe water, but Musk still has pledged to fix any houses still facing water issues:
One user suggested that Musk use local plumbers to install filters, to which Musk replied that he may use “non-plumbers with work inspected/approved by pros.”
Musk has previously shown charitable interest in the city of Flint, at one point donating 500 bikes and 70 scooters to children in the area in honor of LIttle Miss Flint’s Summer Bash.
Musk recently took some criticism for his attempts to help in the rescue of the Thai soccer team as many saw it as a PR stunt to distract people from Tesla opening a large production plant in China where a percentage of its cars will be assembled. Musk said that the backlash had, “shaken my opinion of many people.”
Business Insider’s Leanna Garfield stated her belief that Musk’s attempt to help in the Thai cave situation boosted his companies popularity massively. Garfield stated: “Most of the world will not remember the names of the Thai SEALs who risked their lives on the ground to save the soccer team. But they will remember Musk.”
One Twitter user accused Musk of using a public crisis for his own “aggrandizement.” The Twitter user stated: “Gosh, feel like you need to leverage every public situation for your own aggrandizement much? You do know there are hundreds of experts already working this across multiple counties, no? #narcissism.”
Musk replied: “If I am a narcissist (which might be true), at least I am a useful one.”