CNN Announces Details for Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint

On March 6, CNN is hosting a Democratic presidential debate featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Flint, Mich.

A massive water crisis over toxic drinking water in the city has made Flint the subject of national headlines for months. The fact that Flint is largely black and largely poor, in addition to the handling of the crisis and subsequent political fallout, have been frequent topics of discussion from both Clinton and Sanders in recent weeks.

The debate comes amid the busy primary schedule in early March, with hundreds of delegates pledged in the days prior. Michigan voters will go to the polls two days after the debate.

Clinton has made Flint?s water crisis a central part of her pitch to black voters,?visiting Flint?in early February. Sanders has also?spoken sharply on the issue, calling for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder ? a Republican ? in January.

Flint?s drinking water supply was first contaminated with lead starting in April 2014 when the city, while under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, switched the source of supply from Lake Huron water supplied by the City of Detroit to Flint River water treated at Flint?s?city treatment plant. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials have acknowledged they made a mistake when they failed to require the needed corrosion control chemicals to be added to the water.

As a result, lead leached from pipes and fixtures into the drinking water and tests showed lead levels spiked in the blood of some?Flint children. Although the city switched back to Detroit water in October, officials say the potential for harm continues because of damage done to Flint’s water distribution infrastructure.

The March 6 debate will be moderated by Anderson Cooper with CNN political correspondent Dana Bash and anchor Don Lemon joining as questioners. It will be held at the Whiting Auditorium in Flint and is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will air on CNN, CNN en Espanol and CNN International.

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