During remarks on the opioid crisis in New Hampshire on Monday, President Donald Trump promised “a large-scale rollout of commercials that show how bad it is for the kids.”
“The best way to beat the drug crisis is to keep people from getting hooked on drugs to begin with....so important,” Trump said. He went on to explain that in order to achieve this goal, his administration would spend “a lot of money on great commercials showing how bad it is.” He promised that when children saw the commercials on “the right shows” on television or “the internet,” they would be deterred from drug use. “So kids seeing those commercials..... [think], ‘I don’t want any part of it.’”
He added that the great commercials are “the least expensive thing we can do, where you scare them from ending up like the people in the commercials.” The great commercials, Trump added will be “very, very bad,” showing “pretty unsavory situations.”
The only thing revealing about Trump’s commitment to commercials as a primary means of deterrence in the face of a public health crisis is that he still seems unable (or—perhaps more charitably—unwilling) to conceive of modern life as anything other than a reflection of television roles.