U.S. President Barack Obama takes a sip of filtered water in a bid to show that it's safe during a visit to Flint, Michigan, a city struggling with the effects of lead-poisoned drinking water. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama on Wednesday (May 4) visited Flint, Michigan, a city struggling with the effects of lead-poisoned drinking water, as questions linger over whether his environmental regulators could have acted more urgently to address the crisis. Obama will get updates from federal officials on the response in Flint, a mostly African-American city where more than 40 percent of the city's 100,000 people live in poverty. He will also listen to residents and speak at a high school during his visit, the first since the crisis came to light. During a news conference, Obama took a sip of filtered water to demonstrate that it was safe 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. "That does not, I want to repeat, negate the need for us to go ahead replace some of these pipes," Obama added. While under control of a state-appointed emergency manager in 2014, the financially-strapped city switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money. The more caustic water caused lead, a toxin that harms brain development, to leach from aging city pipes. After blood tests of children showed high lead levels, the city switched back to Detroit's system last October but residents still must filter their water.