Kildee, Flint water doctor call on Trump to honor campaign promises
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and Flint doctor Mona Hanna-Attisha shared their disappointment Tuesday night President Donald Trump's address to Congress did not include a mention of the city's water crisis.
Kildee invited Hanna-Attisha -- a key figure in the Flint water crisis after her work showed elevated blood lead levels in children -- to the address as his special guest to the joint session of Congress -- the first by Trump under his administration.
"We are disappointed that President Trump did not use his primetime address to mention Flint families or the ongoing water crisis," said Kildee and Hanna-Attisha in a joint statement. "During the campaign, then candidate Trump made Flint a talking point of his campaign, promising the crisis would be 'fixed quickly and effectively' if he was elected."
Trump paid a visit to Flint in September 2016, touring the water plant and visiting a local church where his speech drew national attention after Rev. Faith Green Timmons of Bethel United Methodist Church told Trump to stop when he began discussing politics and Hillary Clinton.
During the Flint campaign stop, Trump said "It used to be that cars were made in Flint and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico. Now cars are made in Mexico, and you can't drink the water in Flint. That's terrible."
"We'll get it fixed," he said at the time of "so many different failures" in the city over the years. "It will be fixed quickly and effectively."
Hanna-Attisha and Kildee called on Trump to fulfill the campaign promise and "outline his plans to ensure that Flint families and children get the long term help they need to recover from this man-made crisis."
Water credits and payment for treated water from the Great Lake Water Authority will be cut off Feb. 28 after testing showed tap water meeting federal guidelines for lead, but bottled water and water filters are still being offered to city residents.
Kildee and Hanna-Attisha said much more needs to be done "at all levels of government, to prevent another crisis like the one in Flint happening elsewhere."
Hanna-Attisha took to Twitter amid Trump's speech arguing the president was discussing clean water and clean air but has proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Those cuts won't help to prevent the next Flint," she said.
A photo was later tweeted from Hanna-Attisha's account of the doctor speaking with EPA chief Scott Pruitt "about Flint, lead elimination, and need for stronger environmental protections!"
"If we have learned anything from the Flint water crisis, it is that we should be strengthening - not weakening - protections to ensure clean drinking water," said Hanna-Attisha and Kildee. "Now is not the time to be cutting support for the important work federal agencies are doing to protect our environment, promote public health and support our children."