WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is set to meet with residents of Flint, Michigan, to hear how they're managing after lead from old pipes tainted their drinking water.
And he is bringing a message to Flint on Wednesday: a promise for change.
Obama declared a state of emergency in mid-January and ordered federal aid to supplement the state and local response. At that point, however, the crisis was in full bloom.
It actually took several months for the nation to focus its attention on the beaten-down city's plight, raising questions about how race and poverty influenced decisions that led to the tainted water supply and the beleaguered response once problems surfaced. More than 40 percent of the city's residents live in poverty and more than half are black.
"The fact that something like this happened in a community that is so economically disadvantaged is something that troubles the president," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday.