President Trump Remarks on Opioid Crisis CSPAN March 19, 2018 2:35pm-3:17pm EDT
eligibility, usually households have to be less than 130% of the poverty line and have limited cash assets. then again, it's a program that is helping millions of americans. it is income-based and you get a electronic benefit transfer card and you can purchase food products from a variety of retailers. host: what is average snap [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
president trump: thank you to our first lady, melania. who has been so incredible. [cheers and applause] thank you. and we are blessed to have you as our first lady. really are. it's great to be back in the beautiful state of new hampshire. [cheers and applause] i don't know if you remember, but this is the first place i came for the primaries yet. and this is the room right here. so i like this room. this has been a good room. we're honored to be joined by your wonderful and very talented governor, chris sununu. [applause] thank you, thank you, chris. oh, and there's another talented governor. governor sununu, stand up.
i have to tell you, there was nobody tougher on trump at the beginning. [laughter] it's true. there was nobody on television tougher. and then we met each other and we liked each other and he went from the worst to the best. governor, thank you. i mean that. thank you. i want to thank also attorney general sessions and secretary, thank you, jeff. secretary nielsen. and surgeon general adams for joining us. at this very important event. the first lady and i just visited the manchester fire department safe station. talking about it all over the country. the fire chief, dan, and all of the first responders with us today, thank you. you've been incredible and you're saving american lives. we're also joined by a number of law enforcement officers who we love. our police, d.e.a., i.c.e.,
border patrol agents and customs officers work night and day to keep drugs out of our communities and criminals off of our streets. [applause] so today we thank you, we honor you, and we want you to know that we will always have your backs 100%. thank you very much. law enforcement. thank you. [applause] i especially want to acknowledge all of the families with us today who have endured terrible hardships because of the opioid crisis. and especially those who have lost precious loved ones. i've been saying this for a long time, and it all started right here in new hampshire, because i see what you're going through. about as bad as there is anywhere in the country. and i said i'd be back and we are back. and we're poring a lot of money
and talent into this horrible -- powering a -- pouring a lot of money and talent into this horrible problem. and we will honor the memory of those you lost with action and determination and resolve. we will get it. we will not rest until the end. and i will tell you this scourge of drug addiction in america will stop. it will stop. [applause] every day 116 americans die from an opioid-related overdose. in new hampshire the overdose really death rate, i mean, can you believe this, the death rate is double the national average. it's got difficulties like people wouldn't believe. defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local and federal agency. failure is not an option.
addiction is not our future. we will liberate our country from this crisis. never been like this. hundreds of years, never been like this. and we will raise a drug-free generation of american children. last october we declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. should have been done a long time before. since then we've worked with congress to ensure at least $6 billion additional going through right now in new funding in 2018 and 2019 to combat the opioid crisis. and we will be spending the most money ever on the opioid crisis. [applause] on our most recent national prescription drug takeback day, people across the country turned
in more than 900,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs, more than the weight of three boeing 757's. our custom and border protection and these people, the job they do, is incredible. seized nearly 1,500 pounds of fentanyl last year, nearly three times the amount seized in 2016. and i told china, don't send it. and told mexico, don't send it. [applause] don't send it. in 2017 i.c.e. arrested criminal aliens with 76,000 charges and convictions for dangerous drug crimes. last year the department of justice prosecuted more than 3,000 defendants in cases involving opioids, all of the
trafficking and the related crimes, 3,000 cases. including a pharmacist, a physician's assistant, and an opioid trafficker. each charged with committing serious drug crimes in new hampshire. whether you are a dealer or doctor or trafficker or a manufacturer, if you break the law and illegally peddle these deadly poisons, we will find you, we will arrest you and we will hold you accountable. cheers and applause] thank you. here in new hampshire i applaud all of the drug enforcement agents and law enforcement officers who recently coordinated operation granite shield. an 18-hour enforcement action targeting drug traffickers that resulted in the arrest of 151
people. these are terrible people. and we have to get tough on those people. because we can have all the blue ribbon committees we want, but if we don't get tough on the drug dealers, we're wasting our time. just remember that. we're wasting our time. and that toughness includes the death penalty. [applause] you know, it's an amazing thingment some of these drug
dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime. thousands of people. and destroy many more lives than that. but they will kill thousands of people during their lifetime. and they'll get caught and they'll get 30 days in jail. or they'll go away for a year or they'll be fined. and yet if you kill one person, get the death penalty or you go
to jail for life.
so if we're not going to get tough on the drug dealers who kill thousands of people and destroy so many people's lives, we are just doing the wrong thing. we have got to get tough. this isn't about nice anymore. this isn't about committees. this isn't about let's get everybody and have dinners and let's have everybody go to a blue ribbon committee and everybody get some -- gets a medal. for frankly talking and doing nothing. this is about winning a very, very tough problem. and if we don't get very tough on these dealers, it's not going to happen, folks. it's not going to happen. and i want to win this battle. i don't want to leave at the end of seven years and have this problem. ok? i don't want that. right? [applause] thank you.
not going to happen. thank you all. a lot of voters in this room, i see that. [applause] no, we're going to solve this problem. we're going to stove with brains, we're going to solve it with resolve, we're going to solve it with toughness. because toughness is the thing that they most fear. that's what they most fear. so to the brave agents and officers, thank you for protecting us all. last year my commission on combating the incredible crisis of opioids issued 56 recommendations. my administration agreed with all of the commission's goals. and we've worked aggressively to put them into action. today i'm here to announce additional steps that we're taking as part of our nationwide initiative to address the opioid crisis. and by the way the drug crisis. the general drug crisis. first we're taking action to
reduce drug demand by preventing americans from becoming addicted in the first place. so important. that includes increasing federal funding for the development of nonaddictive painkillers. and we have to come up with a solution where we come up with a painkiller that's not so addictive. and we can do it. we're not that far off. we can do it. these things are incredibly addictive. so we're going to find that answer also. here with us today are jim and jean. they lost their beautiful son, adam, to a fentanyl overdose. his addiction began with prescription pills he found in their kitchen cabinet. they have since begun the zero left initiative to help families get rid of excess painkillers. jim and jean, we're sorry for your loss. a great boy, he's a great boy.
and we applaud your strength and your leadership. and where are you? where are you? come on up. come on up here. [applause] ell us about your boy. >> adam was our oldest son. he was a great kid. a smart kid. grew up out in rural east kingston, new hampshire. he had a degree in actuarial science, which as many of you know, that's the science of forecasting risk. he was the kind of kid that made you feel really good about
yourself. you'd give him five minutes, you really liked him. and he just made a bad choice one night, as smart as he was. he found his way into our kitchen cabinet and sadly the rest is history. he got hooked on it and had to go to the street eventually and he found fentanyl. he's been gone for 2 1/2 years. and we miss him every day. thank you. president trump: thank you, darling. you take care of yourself. thank you. thank you very much. [applause] so many cases like that. we're also taking action to prevent addiction by addressing the problem of overprescribing. [applause]
and our department of justice is looking very seriously into bringing major litigation against some of these drug companies. we'll bring it at a federal level. [applause] some states are already bringing it, but we're thinking about bringing it at a very high federal level. we'll do a job. we're going to
cut nationwide opioid prescriptions by 1/3 over the next three years. we're also going to make sure that virtually all prescriptions reimbursed by the federal government follow best practices for prescribing. we'll ensure that opioid addiction is not subsidized by the american taxpayer. the best way -- so important. and the best way to beat the drug crisis is to keep people from getting hooked on drugs to begin with. as part of that effort -- [applause] so important. this has been something that
i've been very strongly in favor of. spending a lot of money on great commercials showing how bad it is. so that kids seeing those commercials during the right shows on television or wherever, the internet, when they see these commercials, i don't want any part of it. that's the least expensive thing we can do. where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials. d we'll make them very, very bad commercials. we'll make them pretty unsavory situations. and you've seen it before. and it's had an impact on smoking and cigarettes. you see what happens to the body. you see what happens to the mind. so we're announcing a new website, crisisnext door.gov. where americans can share their stories about the danger of the opioid addiction and addictions. we're thinking about doing really a large scale rollout of
commercials that show how bad it is for the kids. and when they see those commercials, hopefully they're not going to be going to drugs of any kind. drugs of any kind. and we'll save a lot of lives and we'll make their life a lot easier. this epidemic can effect anyone. and that's why we want to educate everyone. the second part of our initiative is to reduce the supply of illicit drugs. 90% of the heroin in america comes from our southern border, where eventually the democrats will agree with us and will build the wall to keep the damn drugs out. cheers and applause]
pretty amazing. they don't want to go with daca, because they don't care about daca. but they're trying to tie the wall to daca and daca to the wall and they want to keep daca for the campaign. instead of getting it approved, which we could do very easily, that he totally in favor of doing something -- they're totally in favor of doing something substantial for daca, but the democrats like it as a campaign issue. so they don't get it approved. and they want to tie it to the wall, which is ok with me, but both should get approved. they don't want it to be approved. remember what i said. they don't want it to be approved. they want to make it part of the campaign. we'll make it part of the campaign also. and we'll win. because we're going to win on those issues. [applause] my administration is also confronting things called sanctuary cities that shield dangerous criminals. and every day sanctuary cities
release illegal immigrants, drug dealers, traffickers and gang members back into our communities. they're protected by these cities and you say, what are they doing, they're safe havens for just some terrible people. some terrible people. and they're making it very dangerous for our law enforcement officers. you see it all the time. as the people of new hampshire have learned firsthand, ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis. and your governor, who is great, the numbers are going down in new hampshire. i don't know if you've seen it. but the numbers are going down. chris, we were just -- stand up, chris. [applause] it's really one of the few bright spots where the numbers actually are going down. and that's a tremendous
achievement. thank you, chris. [applause] according to a recent dartmouth study, the sanctuary city of lawrence, massachusetts, is one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six new hampshire counties. i.c.e. recently arrested 15 ms-13 gang members. these are not good people, folks. ok? these are bad, bad people. they don't use guns. they'd rather use knives, because it's more painful. and it takes longer. these are bad people. in boston, massachusetts, which is a place where you have sanctuary cities. i'm repeating my call on congress to block funds for sanctuary cities and to close the deadly loopholes that allow criminals back into our country and into our country in the first place. [applause]
you know, some things are very understandable. we have lots of issues where we're on both sides of an issue and you can understand the other side. even though you don't agree. sanctuary cities are hard to understand for people. because they don't get it. they don't get it. you see what's going on in california. how terrible it is. how dangerous it is. and they're all trying to protect sanctuary cities. and whether it's kate steinle or so many others, they'd be around today if these people weren't allowed back into our country through, in this case, the southern border, at least five times. and look at the damage and then look at this verdict. look at the verdict. can you believe the verdict? so we have to get a lot smarter. we have to get a lot tougher. and speaking of tough, because here with us today is i.c.e.
agent derek dunn. he worked with state police to uncover a major drug smuggling operation in lawrence, massachusetts. [applause] where's derek? derek! where's derek? come here, derek. i love tough guys. we need tough guys. [cheers and applause] ome here, derek. >> just want to say thanks to everyone -- to everyone for being here and it's been a battle, an absolute battle for our counterparts here at d.e.a. and f.b.i. and everybody. all the law enforcement, state police and the local police. it's been an absolute battle. we all work together and we're oing to get this solved. [applause] president trump: thank you,
derek. he didn't know he was going to do that. [laughter] and you didn't know you were going to do that. but that's an honor of your -- in honor of your boy, right? you made a big impact. i also want to mention i.c.e. ent ron moran and manchester police detective patrick mcguire. they helped lead the team that arrested a terrible human trafficer, who used opioids to -- human trafficker, who used opioids to harm in a very violent way his victims. thank you both for bringing the trafficker to a very strong and swift justice. where are you guys? thank you. [applause] tand up. thank you. we're also shutting down illegal online marketplaces and preventing drugs that come from
china and other countries from bypassing our borders. we're getting very tough on it. it's not that we have a choice. we don't have a choice. we can be nice and we can be soft and weak. and you're not going to have a country left. so we have to strengthen up and strengthen up our laws so that we can do what we have to do. we have to stop this from happening. drug traffickers kill so many thousands of our citizens every year. and that's why my department of justice will be seeking so many much tougher penalties than we've ever had and we will be focusing on the penalty that i talked about previously. for the big pushers, the ones that are really killing so many people. and that penalty is going to be the death penalty. if you look at -- if you look at
-- [applause] if you look at other countries, i've gotten to know the leaders of many countries, and i won't mention names, but you know the countries i'm talking about. i go around, how's your drug problem? we don't have much of a drug problem. what do you mean you don't have a drug problem? well, we don't have. i say, how come? we have zero tolerance for drug dealers. i said, what does that mean? that means we have the death penalty for drug dealers. we don't have a drug problem. take a look at some of these countries where they don't play games. they don't have a drug problem. we have court cases that last 10 years and then they get out at the end. we have to be tough. we have to be smart. we have to change the laws and we're working on that right now. the department of justice is working very, very hard on that. but the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty. now, maybe our country's not ready for that. it's possible.
it's possible that our country's not ready for that. and i can understand it maybe. although personally i can't understand that. but there are people that are good people, that are strong, smart people and they would differ with most of us. but i think unless you do, that unless you have really, really powerful penalties led by the death penalty for the really bad pushers and abusers, we are going to get nowhere and i'm telling you, we are going to get somewhere. companies must also be held accountable. the department of justice recently created a task force to coordinate investigations and lawsuits against manufacturers and other bad actors that harm our citizens, and i can tell you jeff sessions, who's with us now, feels so strongly about this. and they're working very hard d very effectively on that
and so we appreciate that very much. thank you, jeff. thank you. [applause] i can think of nothing more important -- the third part of our initiative is to get life-saving help to those who need it. we're going to make sure our first responders have access to life-saving overdose reversing drugs which, by the way, are amazing. here with us today is mike elly, the president of adapt pharma. adapt pharma makes an overdose reversing drug for opioids which i've watched and seen work. narcan.led nar can -- it's actually incredible. they will provide free -- free narcan to all high schools,
colleges, and universities in america. i'd like you to come up, mike. where's mike? come up, mike. [applause] that's really an amazing and generous offer. thank you. tell us a little bit about that, mike. mike: so adapt is a small company that has a big job which is to reverse overdoses and we've provided free of charge four boxes to all colleges and universities in the united states. two boxes free for every high school in the citizens. as well as educational awareness for the nursing departments as well as the faculty, train and teach everybody about the dangers of opioids and the risks and also the benefits of having narcan
nasal spray near where opioids are. president trump: thank you very much. appreciate it. [applause] thank you, mike. amazing, generous. and i've watched the police and the fire, they come around and they become so good at it but i've seen people who are just about dead wake up. now, the problem is they then go back in many cases to the drugs and they do it again and again and again. but we have to work on that. we have to work on that very, very strongly. i also want to recommend and commend a richmond-based company kaleo for donating more than 300,000 doses of overdose reversing drug to first responders which has already saved more than 5,000 lives in a very short period of time. my administration has made clear that medical providers can share crucial information
with family members about an overdose so their loved ones can help them get into treatment. we need treatment. we're making medically assisted treatment more available and affordable and we continue to increase competition and drive down drug prices. and we're driving them down. we're going to have a major news conference probably at the white house in about a month because all of you people -- and i'm talking about prescription drugs. not necessarily the drugs we are talking about here, but we pay as a country so much more for drugs because of the drug lobbies and other reasons, and the complexity of distribution which is basically another term for saying, how do we get more money, and if you compare our drug prices to other countries in the world, in some cases it's many times higher for the exact same pill or whatever it is in the exact same package
ade in the exact same plant. and we're going to change that and i would like to ask secretary azar just to come up and mention opioid but also talk about how we're getting your drug prices down and we've already saved billions of dollars for our country and it's reflected in much lower drug prices. watch what's going to happen over a short period of time. this man is one of the great professionals. ran an incredibly successful drug company. who knows better than the guy who runs the drug company, eli lily. was? now you are on the other side. so nobody knows better. the most respected man in that industry and we got him to work because he loves our country. would you tell them a little bit what you have planned for
drug prices and opioid stoppage? [applause] >> well, thank you, mr. president. you have done a lot already to tackle the issue of drug prices so last year the f.d.a. approved more generic drugs than it ever has in its history and that brings prices for patients, for the system, for everybody. you also changed the rules so our senior citizens pay less out of pocket for their drugs. that's $3.2 billion they are paying less out of pockets for drugs when they go to the pharmacy. and then we're going to be rolling out, as you mentioned in about a month a whole slate of other proposals around how we decrease the price of drugs and how we bring discounts that the middle men right now are getting, how those will go to our patients, individuals. now we're attacking this with the same determination and
resolve that you're bringing to the opioid crisis and that's where we're focused on prevention and getting that 1/3 wer illegal opioid prescriptions to our people and stopping the flow of drugs into the company and third is compassionate treatment is evidence-based, science doifed that can help people re-- science-based that can help people recover. so thank you, mr. president, for your leadership. [applause] president trump: thank you. you will be seeing drug prices falling very substantially in the not-too-distant future and it's going to be beautiful. i want to thank scott gottlieb. scott is working on different things but one of them is called right to try. do you know what right to try is? these are for people who are terminally ill and there are very, very good-looking combinations of things or the
pills, medicines, potential cures and they're terminal and they are not going to be living much longer and we don't have the right to give them these experimental drugs or these early stage drugs that really show promise. for whatever reason but they say because they don't want to harm somebody, if you can believe it. they don't want to harm. so people will oftentimes go to foreign lands, foreign countries. they will do anything. they want hope. they want hope. right to try. so we're working with congressman greg walden and numerous other senators and congressmen and i think we're going to have good luck. the democrats have been pushing back on it, but i think many of them are also coming along. it's called right to try. a patient is terminal. there's good progress made with a certain drug.
we're going to make it possible for that patient to get that drug. and maybe it's going to work. it's hope. it's incredible. they have been talking about this for years and years and years. we're going to get it approved. o important. [applause] to further expand treatment i'm also calling on congress to change the restrictive 1970's era law that prevents medicaid for paying for care at certain treatment facilities with more than 16 beds. it's such an important factor. in the meantime, my administration is granting waivers to states so they can help people who need treatment now, governor. we are also going to help inmates leaving prison get treatment so they can have a second chance to become
productive, law-abiding citizens. and what we have really done for the inmates -- you know, it's very hard for them to get out of jail and get a job. what they have done, better than any legislation we can pass demanding that you hire, we're getting a great economy. it hasn't been this good in many, many years. some people say it's never been this good. and what's happened is, as you see, unemployment is way down. and people are starting to hire inmates. and the results are incredible. some of these employers are calling up saying, wow. what great people. we're giving them a second chance. it's very, very important. so the tremendous economy is helping us very much with that program. we want every american -- thank you. [applause] we want every american to be able to reach their full
god-given potential and we will succeed together as one people, one nation and one great american family. because americans never give in and we never, ever give up. this group never gives up, right? never give up. the brave families here today remind me that the strength of america is found in the heart of our people. we see america's heart in the parties who won't accept addiction as the fate of their children. and if something horrible has befallenen that family, they go around and -- befallen that family, they go around and make sure that never happens to another family and that's why we thank you so much. and we thank your boy. he did not die in vain.
we see it in the sons and daughters who cheer on moms and dads as they recover. we see it in the doctors and nurses who provide constant and loving care. we see it in the heroic law enforcement officers who race . to unimaginable danger we see it in e.m.t.'s and firefighters who act so quickly to save so many lives. and we see this american heart in the men and women who fight every day to help rescue their fellow citizens from the grips of addiction. these are the courageous souls who remind us that for america there is nothing beyond our reach. nothing at all. [applause] nothing.
we will defeat this crisis. we will protect our beautiful children, and we will ensure that tomorrow is better, brighter, stronger, and greater than ever before because as long as we have trust in our citizens, pride in our country, we will in our god, not fail. [applause] thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. together,le we will end the scourge of drug addiction in america once and for all. we will win.
we will beat it. we'll be tough. we'll be smart. we'll be kind. we'll be loving. we will do whatever we have to do. but we're going to win. thank you. god bless you and god bless america. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> well, the u.s. house is back at 3:45 eastern for legislative business. today, members considering a number of bills dealing with homeland security, including information sharing and the use of terror -- terrorist acts using vehicles as weapons. later in the week, there will be legislation to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year through september 30. current funding expires on friday at midnight. both the house and the senate must pass spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown. live coverage here on c-span from the floor of the u.s. house when members return this afternoon. >> tonight on c-span's "landmark cases," we'll explore plessy vs. ferguson where plessy, an african-american man
was arrested in new orleans for taking a seat on the train reserved for whites. the supreme court's 7-1 decision established the separate but equal doctrine that allowed segregation through much of the 20th century. this narrow interpretation wasn't overturned until the brown vs. board of education. examine this case and the high court's ruling with ted shaw, law professor at the university of north carolina. and former director, counsel and president of the naacp legal defense and educational fund. and michael, legal historian and constitutional law professor at harvard law school and author of the 2004 book "from jim crow to civil rights." watch "landmark cases" live tonight on c-span, c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. for background on each case, order your copy of the "landmark cases" companion book available for $8.95 plus shipping and