Is opioid addiction Melania Trump's new pet cause?

NY Daily News Lifestyle 14 months ago

The First Lady said she would make cyberbullying her pet cause — but it looks like she’s already moved on to the opioid epidemic.

In her first comment on the drug crisis sweeping the heartland, Melania Trump announced that she would join her husband at a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on Tuesday — more than nine months after declaring that she would dedicate herself to fighting cyberbullying as FLOTUS.

"Opioids are destroying our youth/people," Trump tweeted early Tuesday. "Mtg w @Potus & @SecPriceMD today to give my support to #STOPDRUGADDICTION."

Prescription pain killers have become an enormous problem for many Americans who struggle with addiction - it is currently the leading cause of death in people under 50-years-old and are estimated to be the cause of at least 59,000 deaths last year.

But it’s unclear why the First Lady has pivoted away from cyberbullying — though she had done nothing on that cause in public, private or even on social media since the inauguration in January.

The closest she came to action on cyberbullying came in June, when her chief of staff, Lindsay Reynolds, was set to meet with the president and CEO of Enough is Enough, an organization that protects children from cyber predators and bullies. But it does not appear that the meeting took place.

It’s curious that Melania seems to have abandoned cyberbullying as her cause as FLOTUS seeing as her husband routinely uses Twitter as a platform to attack senators and previous opponents with juvenile nicknames, members of the press who oppose him and his own attorney general.

"She and Barron (her son) are getting settled (in the White House)," a spokesperson for the charity told the Daily Beast in June, shortly after the First Lady moved in with her husband, who has himself been accused of cyberbullying his rivals via Twitter.

The group and Melania Trump "look forward to announcing her initiatives in the coming weeks," the statement continued.

Melania Trump’s connection to the opioid epidemic is unclear but a statement from the White House to the Daily News via email said that "Opioid abuse is an escalating health crisis affecting countless families across the country. The well-being of children is a priority for the First Lady, and this epidemic affects them in many different ways so she requested to attend today's briefing."

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