President Barack Obama says if he were a parent in Flint, Michigan he would be 'beside myself' that his child's health could be at risk because of its lead-tainted water. Rough Cut. No reporter narration.
President Barack Obama weighed in on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan saying he met with the mayor there and told her the government will "have her back as they work through this terrible tragedy" and adding that if he were a parent in that town, he would be worried. "If I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself that my kid's health could be at risk," he told a crowd in Detroit on Wednesday (January 20). Blame is swirling after a switch in the water supply to the city north of Detroit led to elevated levels of lead in drinking water. Officials say the President is determined to find out what went wrong in the contaminated water crisis and environmental regulators were set to provide Congress with information about their role. Facing protests, lawsuits and calls for his resignation, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, apologized to the city's residents on Tuesday and called for the state to spend $28 million on fixes. Flint, financially strapped and under a state-appointed emergency manager, switched to Flint River water in April 2014 from a Detroit-run water system to save money. Complaints about the water began within a month of the switch. But Flint did not return to Detroit water until October 2015 after tests showed elevated levels of lead, which can cause brain damage and other health problems, in Flint tap water and in some children. Corrosive water from the river, known locally as a dumping ground, caused more lead to leach from Flint pipes than Detroit water did.