One Month Later, What's Become Of Melania Trump's 'Be Best' Campaign?

作者:未知 来源:美国国家公共电台 2018-06-08 我要评论( )

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's been one month since first lady Melania Trump unveiled her Be Best initiative in a ceremony at the White House.

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MELANIA TRUMP: I feel strongly that, as adults, we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.

MARTIN: Since then, the first lady was hospitalized for a kidney condition. And she hasn't been seen a whole lot in public since then. Melania Trump waited more than a year before choosing a platform as first lady. As NPR's Sarah McCammon reports, it's taken a little while to get the program off the ground.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: On the afternoon of May 7, Melania Trump strolled into the White House Rose Garden and announced she'd be making children her focus as first lady.

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M. TRUMP: I will also work to shine a spotlight on the people, organizations and programs across the country that are helping children overcome the many issues they're facing as they grow up.

MCCAMMON: But beyond shining a spotlight, it's unclear so far what the initiative will involve. At the ceremony, Trump was joined by leaders of groups working on such issues, including Stephen Balkam of the Family Online Safety Institute. He's been in touch with the first lady's office since then but says he's heard of no specific plans for next steps.

STEPHEN BALKAM: Obviously, she's had surgery, and she's been out of the public eye for a while. So at the moment, I think we're in a holding pattern.

MCCAMMON: On May 14, a week after the Be Best campaign launch, the White House said Melania Trump underwent a procedure to treat what was described as a benign kidney condition. She was hospitalized for five days and didn't appear in public for more than three weeks, prompting questions about her health and whereabouts. Yesterday, she joined President Trump at a briefing on hurricane season where he said she was doing well.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: She went through a little rough patch, but she's doing great. And we're very proud of her.

MCCAMMON: By way of comparison, in the first month of former first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, she'd already visited a handful of schools and youth organizations to promote physical fitness. Melania Trump's office has released few details about her initiative since the launch and hasn't responded to NPR's request for an update. So we reached out to several groups involved in the rollout. Kelly Nantel with the National Safety Council says she doesn't know of any events. But she hopes the Be Best campaign will promote efforts to dispose of unused prescription pain medications.

KELLY NANTEL: The first lady really loved that idea. And she's very, very interested in ways that we can reduce the supply chain because she recognizes that having unused opioids in your medicine cabinet presents a tremendous risk.

MCCAMMON: Another group working on that issue is Lily's Place, a treatment center in West Virginia for infants exposed to opioids. The first lady visited there last year. Executive director Rebecca Crowder says she, too, has not heard from the White House about plans for a follow-up.

REBECCA CROWDER: It has only been a month, so I figure they're probably still working out some details. But I do expect, you know - fully expect that we will hear from them again.

MCCAMMON: But Crowder says the initiative already is having an impact. Just mentioning her organization at the White House is helping raise awareness and money.

Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Washington.

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