Michigan governor Rick Snyder is going to great lengths to win back the public’s trust. Despite the fact that his administration is likely to blame for several deaths in Flint, Michigan, after the city’s water was found to contain dangerous levels of lead, Snyder has refused to resign — “That’s not what Michiganders do,” he told Michigan Live earlier this month. Instead, Snyder has pledged to do the unthinkable to restore his constituents’ faith in him: He will drink (filtered) Flint water for 30 days.
“I completely understand why some Flint residents are hesitant to drink the water and I am hopeful I can alleviate some of the skepticism and mistrust by putting words to action,” Snyder told the Detroit Free Press. “Flint residents made it clear that they would like to see me personally drink the water, so today I am fulfilling that request.”
To prove his commitment to the cause, Snyder posted multiple photos to his Twitter account of himself drinking filtered Flint water, which he took from a genuine faucet in the home of a Flint resident. He’s even said his wife will drink the water, too.
But for some reason, Flint residents don’t seem impressed.
Perhaps their displeasure has something to do with the fact that top Snyder aides knew Flint’s water was unsafe up to a year before its residents did. And although some recommended testing the water, Snyder’s administration waited months before they acted on reports. While aides debated or ignored the problem, public-health officials estimate that as many as 8,000 children ingested water with dangerously high levels of lead.
Snyder was roundly criticized for his ineptitude during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; one representative called Snyder an “absentee governor,” and another told him to resign outright. But chugging gallons of water will totally make up for his oversights as governor, right?