The first lady was booed when she took her "Be Best" campaign to a youth opioid summit in Baltimore on Tuesday.
At the Baltimore Youth Summit held earlier this week, the first lady of the United States Melania Trump made an appearance in order to promote her "Be Best" campaign. Unfortunately, it appears that she was not quite welcome at the event. She was publicly booed and heckled, in a public first, as she attempted to complete her speech about the United States' rampant opioid crisis, CNN reports. She pressed on despite the heckling. In addition to this, she has since responded to the incident, claiming that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Perhaps the first lady has a better understanding of how democracy works than her husband, United States President Donald Trump.
The booing and heckling began when she got on stage to address the attendees present at the youth summit. As per CNN's Kate Bennett, who was present in the room at the time, the heckling lasted about 60 seconds before it died down a little bit. Nonetheless, the audience remained restless and talked over Melania throughout the entirety of her speech. Despite this, the first lady went on in a rather sad attempt to raise awareness about the nation's opioid crisis. She told the audience that had gathered in an auditorium at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, "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."
Melania also touted her "Be Best" campaign. "Promoting education and awareness on these issues will always be one of my top priorities," she affirmed. "I am in this fight with you and I am fighting for you. I encourage you, if you are struggling with addiction right now, reach out for support -- whether it's a teacher, parent, friend, grandparent, coach or pastor, talk to an adult in your life that you trust. It is never too late to ask for help." As she exited the stage, she was again loudly booed, though there were sparse cheers and claps for the first lady.
This was the first time the audience had heckled Melania in such a manner. In response, she stated, "We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse." However, earlier this year, the first lady was met with a group of protestors when she made a visit to Boston Medical Center, which is in the city's South End. The protestors had gathered in fear that the Trumps would align themselves with the Boston Medical Center and create a photo opportunity out of the visit. There is no doubt that the Trumps have shared a strained relationship with Baltimore, which the President once referred to as a "rat and rodent-infested mess" in a tweet. It is quite likely that no amount of speeches or visits from neither the first lady nor the President will save these now-severed ties.