First Lady Melania Trump wrapped up her “Be Best” tour by telling the media to just be better.
The first lady made the remarks during a town hall-style discussion in Las Vegas about the opioid epidemic that claimed nearly 48,000 American lives in 2017.
Melania said she wished the media would spend as much time highlighting the heartbreaking crisis as it does “idle gossip or trivial stories.”
The first lady suggested the epidemic should be leading the news when asked what else the media could do.
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“I think it should be on every media and the front pages of the newspaper, and I’m sure a lot of people would follow and go home and talk with the children and educate them, so they are responsible adults and they show them how drugs can be dangerous,” she said.
Continuing, she challenged the media to: “devote as much time to the lives lost, and the potential lives that could be saved, by dedicating the same amount of coverage that you do to idle gossip or trivial stories.
“When we see breaking news on TV, or the front pages of newspapers — it is my hope that it can be about how many lives we were able to save through education and honest dialogue.”
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She then explained how she teaches her own 12-year-old son, Barron, “how drugs are dangerous. It will mess up your head. It will mess up your body and nothing comes positive out of it.”
The audience of several hundred people, including entertainer Wayne Newton, was seated in a theater where Elvis Presley once performed at the Westgate hotel and casino.
The first lady used the event to close a two-day, three-state promotional tour for her “Be Best” initiative, which includes a focus on babies born dependent on opioids.
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The discussion included lighter topics as well. Asked what her family’s choice for a group meal might be, she said “spaghetti.”
As for how much cooking she does, the first lady said she leaves that to the “professionals” at the White House, adding that there’s “really no time” for her to cook.
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The first lady participated in a similar conversation last November at Liberty University in Virginia.
President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and his administration is spending billions of dollars to fight it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.