First lady Melania Trump made a rare appearance that included public remarks Monday to reiterate her personal commitment to those battling the opioid crisis.
“In my role as first lady, much of my focus has been towards understanding the negative effects the opioid epidemic is having on our children and young mothers,” she said in New Hampshire.
Trump mentioned neonatal abstinence syndrome, a little-discussed but devastating side effect of pregnant women addicted to opioids who give birth to babies either addicted to drugs or faced with withdrawal symptoms.
“Many young mothers are not even aware of this disease, so we must continue educating them about the real dangers of opioids on unborn babies,” she said.
Trump noted her visit last month to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, a facility that is at the forefront on studies of and treatments for neonatal abstinence syndrome. She also mentioned Lily’s Place, a recovery center in West Virginia she visited in October that specializes in babies with the syndrome.
Trump has several times been the sympathetic voice in an administration frequently embroiled in upheaval and brashness, her compassionate side on display in the intermittent visits she has made to children in hospitals in the US and abroad.
The first lady attended a summit earlier this month at the White House of families and experts working to combat opioid abuse, and she referred to the event in Monday’s remarks.
“I’m proud to support this administration’s commitment to battling this epidemic,” said Trump, before introducing her husband.
The first couple embraced at the podium, where President Donald Trump called his wife “incredible” before outlining his plan to stop the drug epidemic.
Correction: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that the first lady attended a White House summit on opioid abuse earlier this month.