If you google ‘Trump on opioids’ you get lots of news reports about his initiatives on the issue – he declared it a national emergency, but then did nothing else whatsoever for months, and he has now appointed Kellyanne Conway, who looks uncannily like the ‘After’ photo in an ad warning of the dangers of crystal meth addiction, his opioid czar. If you google ‘is Trump on opoids’ you find only one link, to someone casually making a daft quip on Twitter.
Without wanting to cause offence to anyone affected by the crisis, I think his inaction on the issue may be a tell. It’s also possible that his alternating bursts of euphoria and irritability, his very evident mental confusion both on and offline, his weight gain and his public slurring of words, his sniffiness and bizarre water fixation may all be somehow connected with reports that he has a quack doctor in New York who prescribes him whatever medications he needs to keep him (after a fashion) able to function. There are, after all, many things that connect Trump with Michael Jackson, from his 1980s ubiquity to the myriad rumours regarding various forms of abuse to which he’s subjected other people in his life. Trump has similarly spent pretty much his entire life immune to the consequences of his actions. Perhaps when his wife promises to give a voice to families suffering from opioid addiction, she’s unaware of the ironies involved. Maybe the thing that does for him will be whatever he’s taking to numb the pain and guilt he surely must suffer if he’s not actually, as all available seems to suggest, some sort of inhuman monster.
This is a blog, not a fake news site. I’m not pretending I have any inside information on Trump’s habits or medical proclivities – despite having read quite a few articles on the subject over the last few months, I’m still not even sure what exactly the term ‘opioids’ actually refers to*. I’m just innocently raising a question that I’m surprised not to have seen asked elsewhere.
The facts remain: opioid addiction is rife throughout the United States. In the words of Thomas Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, America is ‘awash’ in the stuff. At the same time, its President is clearly deeply unstable in myriad ways. Maybe there’s more to Trump’s claim to be a man of the people than we previously suspected.
*In an earlier version of this post I even misspelt it.