The United States, like most countries, has a lot of problems sitting just below the surface that doesn’t get the attention they deserve. Obviously, huge issues like immigration are at the forefront, and rightfully so. But the last decade has seen the startling rise of another epidemic, one that’s taking the lives of thousands every year–opioid addiction.
While First Lady Melania Trump has yet to embrace a specific apolitical issue and bring awareness to it, as is tradition for first ladies, on Monday, she made a trip to a Cincinnati children’s hospital where she met with many of the young victims of the opioid epidemic.
As reported at the Daily Mail, Melania Trump was joined by Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Jane Portman, the wife of Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and the chairwoman of the facility, to witness firsthand the destructive power opioids are having on the country.
Many of the children at the hospital have been born addicted to opioids, thanks to their parents’ drug abuse during pregnancy.
With the visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the first lady brought together the two issues she’s expressed interest in: improving children’s lives and combating the opioid crisis. These issues appear to be what she’s zeroing in on heading into her second year in the White House, and they’re very worthy of receiving more national attention considering how badly the drugs are affecting the young and old alike.
Before touring the facility, Melania was briefed on various issues like neonatal abstinence syndrome, what the cluster of problems are called when babies are exposed to opioids in the womb. She then made her way to the activity room, where she enjoyed time playing and interacting with the children.
Mrs. Trump brought with her early Valentine’s Day presents for the kids, including coloring books. After wrapping up her visit, Melania said, “I am so grateful for your continued research on combating opioid abuse and for all you are doing for your patients.”
“Children will always be my top priority, and I appreciated the opportunity to visit with the young patients today and witness firsthand their strength and spirit,” FLOTUS said in a statement.
This is the third children’s hospital visit Melania has made since her husband became president. One in Washington, D.C. just before the Christmas, and another in Paris, France, during a trip with her husband to France for Bastille Day.
She’s been actively involved in discussions at the White House concerning the opioid crisis and how to combat it, and she’s also visited a treatment center for the addicted.
The opioid epidemic is an issue worthy of the first lady’s attention. Hopefully, the awareness brought by Melania will have a positive impact on the battle against this deadly and insidious scourge.
Source: Daily Mail