President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump spoke at the Rx Drug and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, vowing to keep up the fight against the addiction epidemic in the United States.
First lady Melania Trump introduced the president, noting that taking care of children and young mothers affected by the opioid crisis was part of her “Be Best” initiative.
President Trump vowed to continue securing federal funding to help communities fighting the epidemic in America, noting that up to 300 Americans a week died from heroin overdoses.
He also praised border security and law enforcement officials for their efforts to stop the flow of drugs across the Southern border.
“We’re doing everything to empower ourselves so that we can keep this poison out of communities and away from our children,” he said.
The president called up Virginia State Police Special Agent Tom Murphy to speak about his son who died from a heroin and fentanyl overdose.
Murphy explained that his son began using marijuana but was introduced to opioids after a work injury that led to more addiction.
“Every overdose is someone’s child. Don’t judge — education,” he said.
Murphy choked up as he recalled the death of his son, prompting Trump to grip his shoulder in solidarity.
“America’s heart breaks for you and all of the families who have suffered so needlessly,” Trump said to Murphy.
Trump spoke about his support for faith-based initiatives in the ongoing fight against the epidemic.
“America is a nation that believes in the power of prayer, the strength of fellowship, and we believe in the grace of God, and we’re proud of it,” he said.
Dr. Monty Burks, executive director of the Special Projects Faith-Based Initiative, explained the importance of a faith-based approach to fight drug abuse.
Trump also vowed to keep fighting fentanyl imports from China and thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his steps to criminalize the drug.
“We will not let up, we will not give in and we will never ever give up on saving American lives,” Trump said. “We will end this terrible menace. We will smash the grip of addiction.”