Trump in Atlanta vows to fight opioid abuse epidemic

Jeremy Redmon and Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

Dramatic opera music and Rolling Stones tunes were piped into the hotel ballroom before Trump spoke. As they awaited the president, some in the summit's audience enthusiastically waved lighted cellphones to the rhythm of Elton John's recording of "Candle in the Wind."

Trump was accompanied on the stage by several people, including a local police officer whose son died of a prescription drug overdose.

Attendees' reactions to Trump's speech were mixed.

Mike Wade is a community relations specialist at Blacksburg, Va.-based New River Valley Community Services, which helps people recover from addiction. He disagreed with the president's approach.

"It's not about border control. It's about a disease. And to politicize that in any way I think is just completely misguided," he said. "We need more access to safe and affordable housing for people in recovery. We need more drug courts. We need more alternative sentencing programs to decriminalize the disease of addiction."

Barbara Holt, an education coordinator with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va., agreed with the president's message, including tightening security on the southwest border.

"We are moving in the right direction," she said. "I loved all the people he brought to the podium to tell their stories and what they do and that he is working on keeping the drugs out and helping families and the extra money for treatment."

Trump started his morning Wednesday railing against Special Counsel Robert Mueller III's investigative report, going after Democrats as well as Mexico and endorsing plans for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.


"The Mueller Report, despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money behind it ($35,000,000), didn't lay a glove on me. I DID NOTHING WRONG. If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court," he tweeted.

"Not only are there no 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors,' there are no Crimes by me at all. All of the Crimes were committed by Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the DNC and Dirty Cops -- and we caught them in the act! We waited for Mueller and WON, so now the Dems look to Congress as last hope!"

By midafternoon, roughly two hours after arriving in Atlanta, Trump was aboard Air Force One again.

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