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Former Fox News anchor Eric Bolling, who has advocated for combating the opioid addiction epidemic in the U.S. since the untimely death of his son last fall, spoke Thursday at a summit on the issue held at the White House.
Bolling said he was pleased by President Donald Trump’s comments at the summit and is “cautiously optimistic” that the White House is on the right track, though he’s hoping the administration focuses on the awareness side of the issue as well as the punitive side.
During the summit, Trump said he has talked with Attorney General Jeff Sessions about suing some of the pharmaceutical companies that produce opioids. He also said his administration will be rolling out “very strong” policies addressing the issue in the next few weeks.
“I think they hit all the important topics. It sounded good,” Bolling said of the pronouncements made during the summit. “Let’s see if they can put all their lofty goals into action, because then you will see the curve of opioid deaths turn down. But right now, it’s spiking straight up.”
In addition to addressing the crowd, Bolling said he talked with Trump, Sessions, several cabinet secretaries and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Bolling has visited the White House several times over the last few months to meet with President Trump and members of his administration and has pledged his services as part of a larger awareness campaign, as he told The Hollywood Reporter in January.
During the summit, the White House played a three-minute-long video in which Bolling tells the story of his son’s death. Bolling said he taped the video about a month ago, and that it’s part of a new White House digital initiative called “The Crisis Next Door,” which will feature video testimonials from people impacted by opioid addiction.
“They’re doing a lot,” Bolling said of the Trump administration’s efforts. “I think they can do more. But they’re doing a lot.”
Bolling, who separated “amicably” from Fox News in September, also told his son’s story and talked about opioid addiction at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week outside Washington, where he was well-received personally by attendees and fellow conservatives in media.
During today’s Opioid Summit at the White House, Eric Bolling shared the story of his son who died from an accidental overdose. pic.twitter.com/P0bq6El6nj
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 1, 2018
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