- The Washington Times - Friday, August 24, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited with children at a hospital here Friday to call attention to the plight of infants born addicted to drugs such as opioids.

Mr. Trump and the first lady toured the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and later met with about a dozen children aged four to six in a playroom with brightly colored decorations.

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is leading the White House effort to combat opioid addiction, told Mr. Trump that one young girl wants to be the first female president.

“Is that right?” the president asked.

“I told her we kept open the job for the first female president,” said Ms. Conway, an apparent reference to Mr. Trump having defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Among the officials joining the Trumps were Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican.

The White House said the Trumps visited the hospital to learn more about its specialized programs to care for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a component of the nationwide opioid crisis.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse said that more than 21,000 babies were born with the syndrome in 2012, the most recent year for which federal data is available. Experts say the number since then has likely climbed due to the worsening opioid crisis.

“The Trump administration will continue to take important actions to ensure fewer American families are devastated by this crisis next door,” the White House said.

Dave Boyer reported from Washington.

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