President is donating his salary to opioid crisis

President Donald has pledged to donate his third quarter presidential salary to fighting the opioid crisis in the US.  

That is about $100,000 of his $400,000 salary, which is pennies compared to the estimated $500 billion a year the epidemic costs the government in medical care and law enforcement.

The president's pledge comes amid the deadliest drug epidemic in US history that killed 64,000 Americans last year.

Stat News calculated just how far the president's donation can go.

President Donald Trump is speaks at an event in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29 after he pledged to donate $100,000 of his presidential salary to fighting the opioid crisis that costs the US $500billion a year

President Donald is speaks at an event in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29 after he pledged to donate $100,000 of his presidential salary to fighting the opioid crisis that costs the US $500billion a year

Acting Health Secretary Eric Hargan accepted the $100,000 check from the president on Thursday.

Hargan said the money will go toward a 'large-scale public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.' 

announced the ad campaign in October, the same time he declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. 

He has been adamant on prevention on the past. has said: 'The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem. If they do start, it's awfully tough to get off.'

The president previously donated salary in the amounts of $78,333 and $100,000 to the National Park Service and the Education Department.

But there is an issue in funding to the Department of Health and Human Services that will be running the campaign. 

declined to use the Stafford act, which would allow the federal government to tap into funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund to combat opioids. 

Under the Public Health Services Act designation, no additional federal funding will automatically be directed to the crisis. 

And the 2018 budget calls for reducing funding for the opioid epidemic by $97million compared, said Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Between 2000 and 2015, US deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, rose by 1,125 percent. 

In the same 15 years, deaths from all opioids rose by 294 percent.

Overall drug overdose deaths in the US reached more than 64,000 last year - killing more people than gun violence or car crashes.

This is up from 52,000 deaths in 2015, more than half of which were related to opioids.   

Here is what the

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