Congressman Dan Kildee to Welcome Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha as Fifth District Guest to President Trump’s Joint Session Address
February 23, 2017
Dr. Mona, an Iraqi Immigrant, Helped to Expose Flint Water Crisis
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) has invited Dr. Mona Hanna–Attisha, the Flint pediatrician who helped to expose the Flint water crisis, to be his guest at next week’s joint session address by President Donald Trump.
Known by her patients simply as “Dr. Mona,” she was instrumental in uncovering elevated lead levels in Flint children. While the state of Michigan initially attacked Dr. Mona and the credibility of her research, she persisted. Once her findings were made public, Governor Rick Snyder and state officials finally admitted that Flint faced a lead in water crisis after initially denying the health emergency. Last year, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” for her work exposing the crisis. Dr. Mona currently directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a model public health program to support Flint children.
Dr. Mona is the daughter of Iraqi-American scientists. As a child, she immigrated to the U.S. with her parents fleeing Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime. In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, she questioned if she would have been allowed into America under President Trump’s recent immigration ban targeting majority-Muslim countries, including Iraq. “While I’m glad I was there to help bring the Flint water crisis to light, I can’t help wondering if, with new limits on immigration, we are losing the next pediatrician who will expose a future public health disaster,” Dr. Mona wrote in her op-ed.
“Simply put, Dr. Mona is a hero. Her persistence helped to expose the Flint water crisis and she has been an incredible partner as we have fought to get federal aid for families still recovering from this crisis. Dr. Mona’s personal story of coming to America from Iraq also reminds us of the many important contributions immigrants make to our nation. Having Dr. Mona as my guest during the President’s address will help highlight her incredible contributions to our community and ensure that Flint families are not forgotten,” said Congressman Kildee.
“I am honored to attend the presidential address with Congressman Kildee. A true public servant, Congressman Kildee has been a relentless force in successfully constructing a bipartisan consensus for Flint relief. He continues to advocate for the long-term recovery of our Flint kids,” said Dr. Mona. “It’s vital the President and our nation understand our crisis is ongoing and there is much more we must do to help families and children in Flint. We are grateful the President visited Flint during the campaign and made Flint a talking point of his urban agenda; however, it is time we see action in Flint and a proactive environmental and public health strategy to prevent future Flints.”
President Trump’s address will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET. Each Member of Congress is allowed to bring one guest to the joint session.