For the second time this month, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is heading to Michigan, this time to Flint to tour the city that has been plagued by a public health crisis due to drinking water contaminated with lead.
The campaign hasn't released specific details yet, but Trump's travel schedule includes a tour of the city and remarks at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Democrats in the presidential campaign made Flint a key talking point during the presidential primaries. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders visited the city and one of the Democratic Party's debates was held in Flint. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver also spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
But Republican candidates during the primary and after Trump became the nominee have scarcely mentioned the Flint water crisis — much less visited. It came up briefly during the Republican debate held in Detroit and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette talked about the crisis during his afternoon speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Trump's visit follows his first foray as a presidential candidate into an African-American church in Detroit on Sept. 3 and two other visits to Michigan — a rally in Dimondale and speech to the Detroit Economic Club — in August.
In addition to attending services at the Great Faith Ministries International Church earlier this month, Trump also sat down for an interview with the church's Pastor Bishop Wayne T. Jackson on the Impact Television Network that Jackson founded in 2010. That interview is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The Flint water crisis began when the city, which was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, switched its water supply in April of 2014 from the Detroit Water and Sewerage System which draws from Lake Huron to a new supplier that drew water from the Flint River. The new water supply, which was more corrosive than the lake water, was improperly treated, causing pipes to deteriorate and leach lead into the water going into the city's homes and businesses.
(2016 © Detroit Free Press)