First Lady Melania Trump has taken to Twitter to sing the praises of the results of her "Be Best" social initiative campaign, commenting on the news that drug overdose deaths have dropped while the average life span has gone up during her husband’s tenure.
“For the first time in 29 years, drug overdose deaths have dropped by 4.1% and life expectancy has increased by 4 years! Proud of this administration for ensuring a safer and healthier future for our nations [sic] children", she tweeted on Saturday, with a hashtag.
Many replied in kind in the thread, applauding the less worrisome statistics as compared to 2018 and years past.
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS— elizabeth Laird (@Gypsyelisabeth) February 2, 2020
Melania! Thank you so.much for your most inciteful program in Las Vegas on the opioid situation. As a former medical professional I have seen firsthand babies born in withdrawal. learned even more about the long term effects. I applaud you! https://t.co/lNkbAWTKp7
Thank you so much. I hope to bring attention to the Opioid Epidemic, people always think it's something that happens to other people until it happens to them— Kelly Novotny (@novotny_kelly) January 31, 2020
I love that Melania has gone to schools to talk about it & POTUS donated some of his salary towards it#Trump2020Landslide
Nevertheless, many didn’t see a direct link between Melania’s progressive campaign and the decreasing overdose rate, with one suggesting it is due to the antidote, Naloxone, now being given to police and emergency workers.
If there is a drop in overdose deaths, I would more likely attribute it to recent efforts to provide Naloxone (opioid overdose reversal) to police and emergency responders...has nothing to do with "being best" and Melania! #BeBest #naloxone— MNGirl (@PartyUpNorth) February 1, 2020
You can’t be serious! Melania had nothing to do with the decrease in opioid deaths or increase in life expectancy! If Medicaid and Medicare benefits are cut, come back and talk to us then.— Jackie Garnett (@jakgarnett) February 2, 2020
One even posted a link to a conflicting media report prompting netizens to judge for themselves:
According to estimates by the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, drug overdoses in the United States showed a downward trend in 2018 for the first time since 2000, and life expectancy, which had been on the decrease due to the opioid epidemic, rose slightly from 2017 to 2018.
"The drop in overdose deaths shows that the president’s new level of focus on the opioid crisis, and the administration’s science- and community-based efforts to combat it, are beginning to make a significant difference", HHS Secretary Alex Azar commented on the new statistics.
Starting from the early 1990s, increased prescriptions of opioid medications has led to the widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription drugs, before it was first revealed and proven that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
In 2017, HHS declared a public health emergency and announced a 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioid Crisis, with First Lady Melania making the issue one of her top priorities in the Be Best campaign, launched in May 2018.
“It remains our generation’s moral imperative to take responsibility and help our children manage the many issues they are facing today, including encouraging positive social, emotional, and physical habits", the campaign's website reads.
“The mission of BE BEST is to focus on some of the major issues facing children today, with the goal of encouraging children to BE BEST in their individual paths, while also teaching them the importance of social, emotional, and physical health. BE BEST will concentrate on three main pillars: well-being, online safety, and opioid abuse".
President Trump has also stressed the importance of combatting the long-standing crisis, and donated his second- and third-quarter 2019 salary to battling the drug epidemic. Per the US Department of Health and Human Services, 10.3 million people misused prescription drugs in 2018, with 47,600 dying from an overdose.