Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Secretary Eric Hargan announced that President Trump will donate his third-quarter salary “to the planning and design of a large-scale public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction” within the department.
“It’s his compassion above all that drives his interest to the issue to which HHS is going to devote his donation: America’s devastating opioid crisis,” Hargan said during the White House press briefing Thursday afternoon.
According to Daily Caller, the opioid crisis in America has been a scourge on communities across the country, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Many states that voted for Trump suffer greatly from the ravaging opioid epidemic.
Acting Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement at the White House press briefing that Trump wrote HHS a personal check and that the money will be used to “attack the opioid epidemic” through research, management, prevention and treatment. The acting secretary said that the decision for Trump was personal, since the president had lost one of his own family members to addiction.
“The President is personally dedicated to defeating this crisis because addiction hits home for so many of us,” Hargan said. “You heard him share the story in his opioid speech about how he lost his own brother to alcoholism. And speaking personally, opioid addiction has been a presence in my hometown, in my family, for years. It was years ago, in fact, that I lost a close relative who constantly struggled with opioids.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump announced that he would not be taking a salary were he elected president. Instead, the president would be donating his salary each quarter to various groups and organizations.
Trump has made good on the promise and to date, he has donated approximately $178,000. The donations have gone to the preservation of Civil War battlefields and continuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Why did Trump pick the opioid crisis for his gift? “His decision to donate his salary is a tribute to his compassion, to his patriotism and his sense of duty to the American people,” acting health secretary Eric Hargan said Thursday during the White House’s press briefing.