Image via www.donaldjtrump.com
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melina Trump arrived in Atlanta this afternoon to speak at the 2019 Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. They were greeted at the airport by Gov. Brian Kemp and other lawmakers.
During his speech, Trump touted his administration’s efforts to control illicit substances coming in through the nation’s southern border. “A lot of it is drugs and drugs are being gotten by us,” he said, according to CNN. “We are stopping the drug flow as much as we can. Soon we’re going to have a wall that’s very powerful … it will have a tremendous impact on drugs coming into our country.”
Trump also highlighted the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill his son in law, Jared Kushner, helped pass last year, CNN reports. In just four months, 16,000 participating inmates are getting treatment for drug dependencies and addiction.
Trump also appeared to go off script when he read a line about pharmaceutical companies “rigging the system,” according to CNN. “I know all about the rigging the system because I had the system rigged on me, the president said, getting a laugh from the crowd. “I think you know what I’m talking about.”
Combating the opioid epidemic has been a priority for Trump’s administration, and the efforts have gained bipartisan support. According to the White House website:
- As of October 2018, the administration had secured $6 billion in new funding over a two-year window to fight opioid abuse.
- To curb over-prescription, the President implemented a Safer Prescribing Plan that will cut opioid prescription fills by one-third within three years.
- The administration is working to secure land borders, ports of entry and waterways against smuggling.
- In 2018, President Trump worked with Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act, the single largest legislative package addressing a single drug crisis in history.
As expected, the president’s visit created major traffic problems, but as of about 3 p.m. the downtown connector was reopened following his departure, the AJC reports. Heavy southbound delays up into midtown were reported.