Melania Trump calls for action at opioid summit

Melania Trump calls for action at opioid summit
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First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania Trump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — All eyes on Trump as 2020 bid begins MORE called for action on the opioid crisis in a speech Thursday kicking off a White House summit on the epidemic.

The first lady added her voice to the discussion as the administration works to highlight steps it has taken to address the crisis.

“I am so proud of the work that this administration has already done to combat this epidemic,” Trump said. “We all know there is still much work to be done, which is why we are all here today.”

The first lady read from a letter written by a woman who lost her son to an opioid overdose. In her remarks, Trump called for a focus on babies and young mothers with addiction.

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A range of other administration officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida The Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida Sarah Sanders to leave White House MORE and Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinTrump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? It’s time to end the scare tactics and get to work for our veterans MORE also spoke at the summit.

Azar highlighted his discussions at the National Governors Association's winter meeting last weekend, where he encouraged governors to apply for waivers that allow states to expand the opioid addiction treatments that Medicaid can be used to compensate.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll see a faster clip,” Azar said. “Those waivers are very easy to do.”

Shulkin highlighted that opioid use in the VA system has declined 41 percent since 2012.