Elon Musk didn’t even wait to get back from his Asia trip to start a new philanthropic campaign, this time to do something about the contaminated water supply in Flint, Mich.
The genesis of Musk’s involvement with the years-old Flint controversy echoes how he came to build a mini-submarine for the soccer-playing boys trapped in a Thai cave. It all started with a seemingly flip suggestion from comedy writer Cullen Crawford — plus an assist from Don A. Bailey, a Flint native who runs a blockchain consulting firm called Lab Mouse Security.
Bailey asked whether Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, could help out with a water-testing campaign that he already had in the works. Musk immediately took up the cause, even though he had just delivered a mini-sub in Thailand and struck a deal to build a multimillion-dollar battery and car factory for Tesla in China. (That factory is likely to take years to get off the ground.)