On Tuesday, President Trump donated his third-quarter presidential salary to help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. Later that day, first lady Melania Trump was booed while speaking at a youth opioid event.
Melania Trump took her “Be Best” initiative to Baltimore, where she spoke at a youth summit aimed at raising awareness among young people about the opioid crisis in America.
Upon taking the stage, she was immediately met with loud boos from the audience.
“Thank you to all of the students who are here. I am so proud of you for the bravery it takes to share that you have been strongly affected by the opioid epidemic in some way,” she said over the chorus of boos, according to a CNN reporter present at the speech.
During the speech, the first lady urged young people to speak up if they are struggling with addiction.
“Promoting education and awareness on these issues will always be one of my top priorities. I am in this fight with you and I am fighting for you. I encourage you, if you are struggling with addiction right now, reach out for support — whether it’s a teacher, parent, friend, grandparent, coach or pastor, talk to an adult in your life that you trust. It is never too late to ask for help,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that President Trump would donate his third-quarter salary of $100,000 toward helping fight the opioid crisis.
The funds will be paid to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, which oversees federal public health offices and programs, and will be earmarked “to continue the ongoing fight against the opioid crisis,” the report said.
Ending the opioid crisis a priority for Trump administration
Opioid overdoses resulted in more than 42,000 deaths in 2016 — more than any previous year on record — and according to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health study that number rose 47,600 in 2018.
President Trump was very outspoken about the opioid crisis while campaigning in 2016 and since taking office. He and the first lady have led efforts to fight back against the epidemic.
In October 2017, the president declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Soon after, the administration launched the Stop Opioid Abuse initiative, which secured $6 billion in new funding.
The initiative’s three-part plan of attack includes educating the public about the dangers of opioid use, cutting down on the drug supply by busting supply chains, and helping those already addicted toward recovery
Author: Phil Shiver