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NewsWater & Sanitation

Doctor who helped expose the Flint water crisis is topping Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump in Time 100 vote

A doctor from Flint, Michigan is in the running for Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha was nominated for her outstanding work on the Flint water crisis. She’s won more votes than high profile nominees like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the Time 100 reader poll.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha is among 127 nominees who could be on the top 100- list after the reader’s vote. Others on the list include US President Barack Obama, Malala, Pope Francis, Leonardo diCaprio, and more.

Hanna-Attisha is the director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Medical Center and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine.

She was at the forefront of the Flint water crisis breaking the news to the public of elevated lead levels in Flint’s children. It was Hanna-Attisha’s research that found the children in Flint had unsafe levels of lead in their blood due to contaminated water.

After the city switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the dirty Flint River in 2014 as a cost-cutting measure, lead poisoning more than doubled in local children. Lead is a known neurotoxin that can affect child development and cognition.

According to TIME, “She alerted the public after state agencies initially dismissed her concerns, sparking continuing investigation into the city's toxic water supply.”

The doctor is in distinguished company at TIME. Bernie Sanders won the reader's poll, taking 3.3% of the total vote. Dr. Hanna-Attisha finished in 20th place, beating out the likes of US Senator Elizabeth Warren, Stephen Colbert, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  

The TIME 100 is an annual list made up of the world’s most influential leaders, great minds in science and technology, the arts and other icons of the moment. Although TIME’s editors ultimately choose the TIME 100, they conducted a poll to see who readers want to see on the list. The official list will be released on April 21st this year.

Hanna-Attisha’s nomination is well-deserved, as she’s brought much needed attention to Flint’s water crisis and the dire state of water infrastructure in the US.