Elon Musk Pledges to Fix Flint’s Water Crisis
Elon Musk, billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX, has set his sights on a new philanthropic venture – Flint, Michigan. Flint has long been embroiled in a crisis involving the towns contaminated water supply, where highly elevated levels of lead have been found. Musk’s promise to work towards solving the towns water crisis came from a response to a tweet by musician Dylan Shea on Twitter.
Hey @elonmusk I heard a bunch of people saying there's NO WAY you could help get clean water to Flint, Michigan. Said you wouldn't be capable idk
— Baby D (@DylanSheaMusic) July 11, 2018
The tweet soon went viral, catching the attention of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (D), who went on to ask Musk to sit down and have a conversation about the “specific needs” of Flint. Musk has stated he will sit down to speak with Weaver today.
This is on the heels of Musk receiving a fair amount of criticism after his response to the Thai soccer team that was trapped in a cave. During their time down there, he announced that a team of his engineers would be going to assist in the rescue, and delivered a small submarine to help get the boys out. The submarine ended up being impractical, and some critics questioned why he wasn’t doing more to help address problems in the U.S.
So far, it remains unclear how Musk will follow through on his promise to help fix Flint’s water crisis, however he gave several pointers via his Twitter. He went on to ask his Twitter followers to share lead contamination test results of Flint’s water, and responded by saying he “will send someone to install a water filter.”
Musk then went on to say that, “Most houses in Flint have safe water, but they’ve lost faith in govt test results. Some houses are still outliers. Will organize a weekend in Flint to add filters to those houses with issues & hopefully fix perception of those that are actually good.”
Hey Elon! Sean Hollister here with CNET. Can you confirm this is 100% real… and any comment on reports that lead levels are generally below federal standard in Flint?
— Sean Hollister (@StarFire2258) July 11, 2018
Flint is in the process of replacing all of its old lead water pipes, a task estimated to cost around $55 million. In the meantime, residents of Flint have been given water filters, and until April, were given free water bottles as well. While state officials have said that Flint’s water is now safe to drink, there is deep-seated skepticism among many residents. Since 2014, 12 people have died and at least 87 people have fallen severely ill from drinking the lead-contaminated water.