Pete King: ‘Absolutely Disgraceful’ The First Lady Was Booed at Baltimore Opioid Summit

Baltimore has highest overdose fatality rate of any US city
November 26, 2019 Updated: November 26, 2019

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) on Tuesday criticized people who booed First Lady Melania Trump at a youth opioid summit in Baltimore, Maryland, and he didn’t mince words.

“Absolutely disgraceful that @FLOTUS was repeatedly booed at Youth Opioid Summit in Baltimore. If any issue should be free from abusive, rude behavior, it should be protecting kids from opioids. Has the left no sense of decency?!?” he tweeted on Tuesday.

The first lady was in Baltimore to talk to students about opioid use and its dangers as part of her “Be Best” campaign. But as she spoke, some in the audience booed her, according to video footage of the event.

The boos lasted for approximately one minute, CNN reported.

“Thank you to all of the students who are here. I am so proud of you for the bravery it takes to share that you have been strongly affected by the opioid epidemic in some way,” the first lady said above the boos. She held her talk at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County.

According to the City of Baltimore, in 2017, there were 692 opioid-related deaths in the city.

“This is more than double the number of people who died of homicide. Baltimore City now has the highest overdose fatality rate of any city in the United States,” the city’s website said.

The first lady noted that the students in attendance have “hopes and dreams for the future, whether it is college, joining the military, or playing a sport, your future will be determined by the choices you make. Using drugs will only slow you down and prevent you from achieving those goals.”

Several dozen students had stood when the announcer asked them to stand if they had lost someone to drugs.

She spoke for about five minutes.

“I believe it is also the first loud booing by an audience at a solo event with Mrs. Trump,” CNN reporter Kate Bennett wrote.

The White House has not issued a statement about the matter.

The youth summit is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and actor Mark Wahlberg’s youth foundation to help educate students, teachers, and parents about opioid use and misuse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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