First Lady Sees Newborn Victims of Opioid Crisis

October 17, 2018 Updated: October 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA—First lady Melania Trump is touring an intensive care unit at a Philadelphia hospital to learn about the care being given to newborns suffering from opiate withdrawal.

She was late for the visit on the morning of Oct. 17 after her first flight was forced to return to a Washington area military base because of smoke in the cabin. She took a different plane to make the trip.

Trump also spoke briefly at a conference at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on newborns who were exposed to opioids while in the womb.

She began her remarks by saying “sorry for a little delay.”

She said there are few things harder than seeing a newborn suffering, and that she wants to shine a light on the issue.

The first lady was also going to visit with mothers who are in addiction treatment in a program that allows them to have their children with them.

Smoke in the Cabin

Trump’s plane has been forced to return to a Washington area military base because of smoke in the cabin.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says “everyone is fine and everyone is safe” after the plane returned to Joint Base Andrews.

She had been scheduled to visit a Philadelphia hospital and meet with families of children affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb.

Grisham says the first lady’s team is “evaluating” whether to make other arrangements to travel to the event.

According to TV reporters traveling with the first lady, the flight was in the air about 10 minutes when smoke filled the cabin, and then Secret Service agents rushed to the front of the plane.

It’s not immediately clear what caused the problem.

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