Melania Trump pushes 'Be Best' initiative with trip to Nashville
Posted July 24, 2018 8:45 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — First lady Melania Trump is set to visit to a children's hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday to discuss the well-being of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Trump's trip is part of "Be Best," her official platform she launched in May, one week before a kidney procedure kept her out of the public eye for several weeks.
"One of the three pillars of 'Be Best' centers around opioid abuse and its effects on children," Trump's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
The other two focus points of "Be Best" are the overall well-being of children and social media practices.
In Nashville, Trump will spend time at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, participating in a roundtable session with medical experts and hospital staff about neonatal abstinence syndrome and the effect of the nation's opioid crisis on babies.
In remarks she gave in March, Trump said this little-discussed part of the epidemic is something she is intends to focus on.
"In my role as first lady, much of my focus has been towards understanding the negative effects the opioid crisis is having on our children and young mothers," Trump said. "Many young mothers are not even aware of this disease, so we must continue educating them about the real dangers of opioids on unborn babies."
In Nashville, Trump is also expected to meet with patients and tour a neonatal intensive care unit.
The rollout of "Be Best" has been choppy, mostly due to Trump's kidney procedure this spring. She checked into Walter Reed Military Medical Center just days after her White House Rose Garden announcement in May and headlines for the next several weeks turned from her initiative to her health.
Fresh off her first international trip since having the procedure, Trump appears to be focused back on the rollout of her campaign.
Two weeks ago in London she talked up the campaign with schoolchildren while spending an afternoon with Philip May, husband of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
"Why is your motto 'Be Best?' " one of the kids asked.
"I want to help children 'be best' in everything that they do," answered Trump. "To be best at whatever your passion is, where you're focused, everything in life, really. And be best with each other, to be kind."
Back in Washington, Trump visited the Microsoft innovation and policy center in Washington last week. In a statement following the visit, Trump said: "To see students taking action and being positive leaders in the digital world for youth is exactly what 'Be Best' is focused on."
The Nashville trip will be her first official "Be Best" event stateside, although she has recently made visits to Texas and Arizona to see visit with undocumented immigrant children at the border. One of those trips was overshadowed by her Trump's decision to wear a jacket with a controversial message written on the back, something Grisham said had no "hidden meaning."