Today, Trump officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Before he gave his heartfelt remarks, Melania Trump gave the opening statements.
The First Lady has already been researching the crisis extensively. First, she had a roundtable discussion. Then, she visited a recovery center in West Virginia. She has also shown her support on social media by tweeting out #stopdrugaddiction.
Her speech shows that the research has paid off.
In her opening remarks, she said:
The opioid epidemic has affected more than 2 million Americans nationwide, and sadly, the number continues to rise…I have recently taken a larger interest in what I can do to help fight this epidemic.
She then described her experiences in West Virginia. One person that she met taught her that “the stigma of drug addiction must be normalized and that talking about it, and this is the only way to do that.”
Moreover, she realized a common vein in all the stories: seemingly normal people fell victim to addiction.
The common theme with all of these stories is that this can happen to any of us…Drug addiction can take your friends, neighbors, or your family. No state has been spared. And no demographic has been untouched.
Melania said she was “so proud” to support the president in this decision. Then, President Trump took to the microphone and gave a surprisingly personal speech.
The president discussed his brother, and how his addiction made him decide to never drink alcohol. Trump’s longtime foe, CNN, said the speech was “pitch perfect”. In fact, they commended the president for diverting and showing a much more humble side of his personality.
According to federal law, the opioid epidemic is now a national emergency. We can only hope this is a step in the right direction. Currently, the statistics on opioid addiction are staggering.