As the 2016 United States presidential election draws closer and closer, many Americans are eager to learn which candidates will be able to find quick solutions in a time of serious crisis. One issue that voters are desperate to find answers to is the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has resulted in thousands of residents with lead in their pipes. The Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, recently did a debate in Flint and were asked to address the water crisis directly. Neither of their responses were well-received by Flint residents, but Hillary Clinton’s response, in particular, sickened the woman who posed the question.
According to the Huffington Post, 38-year-old Lee-Anne Walters asked the candidates how they planned to fix the public water supply in Flint and remove the potentially fatal chemicals from homes and businesses and replace the lead pipes. When Walters was asked how the potential nominees responded, she said she preferred Bernie Sanders’ answer over Hillary Clinton’s.
“I hated Hillary Clinton’s answer. It actually made me vomit in my mouth.”
So what exactly did Hillary Clinton promise to do? Not enough, according to Walters.
“We will commit to a priority to change the water systems and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere,” said Hillary Clinton.
This may sound like a viable plan to fix the Flint water crisis, but five years is a long time for residents to continue living with poisonous plumbing. Even worse, the timeline Hillary Clinton provided is just as bad as the non-starter solutions that Flint residents have been promised from local government.
“To tell a Flint resident that we’ll handle this in five years is no different than what the city was telling us and what the state was telling us,” said Lee-Anne Walters.
According to Free Beacon, Walters was one of the first people to blow the whistle on the Flint water crisis and has remained an activist about the issue ever since.
Despite her sub-par response, Hillary Clinton had actually used the Flint water crisis as an example of poor governance in February, calling it an “immoral” incident that Congress should be charged to fix.
“This has to be a national priority,” said Hillary Clinton. “What happened in Flint is immoral. The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any part of America. Clean water is not optional, my friends. It’s not a luxury. This is not merely unacceptable or wrong.”
But the gusto with which Hillary Clinton condemned those responsible for the Flint water crisis was essentially lost during Sunday’s Democratic debate. Lee-Anne Walters felt her response was unacceptable, especially after all that Flint residents have already been through. Walters’ own child was found to have dangerously high levels of lead in his or her blood. Asking Flint citizens to wait another five years for a fix is not reassuring.
Lee-Anne Walters also claimed Hillary Clinton’s response was too focused on lead paint and dust, when water lead is the primary concern of Flint residents.
“If you look at the numbers, most of the grants and funding go to [getting rid of] lead paint, so to lump it all together is unacceptable,” said Walters.
The response Bernie Sanders gave was not very promising either, but Walters claims it was at least more honest than what Hillary Clinton said. Sanders claimed that if he is elected president, he will ensure that the Environmental Protections Agency more closely regulates the water supply.
Who do you think gave the better response to the Flint water crisis problem? Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]