The White House announced on Tuesday that it will host a memorial for opioid abuse victims near the White House next month.
“I am very pleased to welcome the opioid memorial to the President's Park in April,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “I encourage all to visit and remember those who we have lost to this deadly epidemic. We will keep fighting until we defeat the opioid crisis!”
I am very pleased to welcome the opioid memorial to the President's Park in April. I encourage all to visit and remember those who we have lost to this deadly epidemic. We will keep fighting until we defeat the opioid crisis! https://t.co/ZM7AYJyECr— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2018
According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the memorial will have 22,000 pills carved with the faces of opioid overdose victims. The memorial will be open to the public from April 12-18.
The memorial, which is a part of the National Safety Council's “Stop Everyday Killers” campaign, will also have a note next to the faces of the victims commemorating their lives.
There is an opioid crisis in this country and the death toll shows far too many zeros. 22,000 people die each year from prescription opioid overdoses. We put a face to each one. Join us at the memorial on the Ellipse at the @WhiteHouse, 4/12-4/18: https://t.co/u4iJOtpRc4 pic.twitter.com/33EcOeHKqM— NSC (@NSCsafety) March 27, 2018
The White House will work with the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior to host the memorial that will be featured at the Ellipse in President’s Park.
Trump has made fighting the opioid crisis a focus of his domestic policy agenda. Earlier this month he announced a set of proposals to address the crisis.
Some of the more controversial aspects of his plan include imposing the death penalty for large-scale drug dealers and building a wall along the southern border to stop drugs from coming into the country.
“You know, if you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty,” Trump said. “These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them. Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty. And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do.”
The president has also pushed to make overdose-reversing drugs — such as naloxone — more readily available.
“These stories are tough to hear, and this exhibit will be an intensely emotional and somber experience,” Sanders said. “But it's also a reminder that lives are at stake, and we must take action to end the plague of addiction that is ravaging communities all across our nation.”