Donald Trump is, once again, donating his salary and handing it over to one of the governmental departments. The White House announced on Thursday that President Trump would be donating his third quarter salary to help his Health and Human Services Department battle the opioid crisis.
Since taking office back in January, Trump has pledged to donate his entire salary to various causes. According to The Hill, he has donated his quarterly paychecks, which amounts to $100,000 each, to different federal programs. He has previously donated his paychecks to the Department of Education and the National Parks Service.
During the daily White House briefing today, acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan talked about Trump and his decision to donate the money to the HHS.
“His decision to donate his salary is a tribute to his compassion, to his patriotism and his sense of duty to the American people. We are so pleased that President Trump has chosen to donate his salary this quarter to the planning and design of a large-scale public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.”
Battling the country’s opioid epidemic is something that Trump made one of his key planks during the presidential campaign. He promised to address the issue as soon as he took office. There was a lot of criticism for Trump over delaying that battle. In October, he finally declared the crisis a “health emergency.” In August, he told reporters that he would label the crisis as a national emergency, according to The Hill.
While making the “health emergency” announcement, Trump talked about an advertising campaign as a way to stop the crisis of opioid overdose deaths in the nation.
“One of the things our administration will be doing is a massive advertising campaign to get people, especially children, not to want to take drugs in the first place. Because they will see the devastation and the ruination it causes to people and people’s lives.”
An aggressive multimedia campaign was one of the recommendations from the White House’s commission to address the opioid epidemic. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the head of that commission, as he stated there was a need for “an extensive national media campaign paid for by the federal government with private sector partners.”
The Hill reported that similar initiatives have been backed by hundreds of millions in federal funding, so an advertising campaign would need much more money behind it than Trump’s quarterly salary.
Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan details the ways in which the department will use President Donald Trump's salary donation in the fight against the opioid crisis https://t.co/kbhxOrjlpG https://t.co/gumlLetRHP— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 30, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions did just announce yesterday that the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration were teaming up to introduce new initiatives to battle the opioid crisis. Part of those initiatives included $12 million being allocated to help state and local law enforcement partners. That does not include any money for an ad campaign, but Trump’s donation might be able to help it get started.