News Feature | September 19, 2016

Donald Trump Visits Flint

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Donald Trump took a trip to Flint, MI, last week, visiting a water plant at a time when the city faces deep water challenges in the wake of its lead-contamination crisis.

“It was Donald Trump’s first trip to Flint since the city found lead in its water in 2014. The Republican nominee made a quick visit to a water plant and a local church,” PBS Newshour reported.

Trump spoke up about the water crisis in Flint in advance of his visit.

“I think it’s a horror show that it was allowed to happen and to be honest with you it should have never, ever been allowed to happen,” he said in an interview with The Detroit News. “That was really the problem.”

Before his visit, he said: “I will be visiting Flint. This is a situation that would have never happened if I were president.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, blasted Trump, questioning his motivation for visiting.

“Donald Trump has a long history of turning a blind eye to the African-American community. We are not fooled by this manufactured stop in Michigan. This is the same man who has talked down to us and falsely claimed that our entire community is poor, uneducated and unemployed. Donald Trump’s lack of concern for our community is yet another reason he is unqualified and unfit for the presidency,” she said in a statement released by the Clinton campaign.

She praised Clinton’s response to the water crisis. Clinton visited Flint earlier this year.

“Hillary Clinton has been a champion for the African-American community for decades. This year, she traveled to Flint to stand with us and let the country know that Flint’s crisis is a national crisis. In doing so, she showed us once again who she is: a proven leader who is committed to addressing the injustices African-Americans are subjected to in this country. Flint’s water crisis should serve as a reminder to Americans of what can happen when entire communities are ignored, left out and left behind,” Weaver said.

Despite attention from presidential nominees, Flint’s water crisis continues.

“Residents still can’t drink the water unless they use filters, and many still rely on shipments of bottled water,” The Detroit News reported.

The U.S. Senate approved legislation this week that would send $270 million in aid to residents of Flint “and other poor communities that have suffered from lead-contaminated water, attaching the funds to a broader bill authorizing $9 billion to repair ports, dams, levees and other water infrastructure in 17 states,” The New York Times reported.