ATLANTA — In a whirlwind trip to Atlanta, President Donald Trump addressed a prescription drug summit, vowing to never stop fighting until the opioid crisis in our country has come to an end.
Trump, joined by first lady Melania Trump, was the main speaker at the eighth annual RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta.
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston, who attended the summit and listened to the president's speech, said Trump talked a lot about what his administration has already done to fight the problem, but he also wanted to tell those attending the national conference he won't stop until the crisis is over.
The president also said his administration will hold Big Pharma accountable for much of the country's drug problem, vowing to fight addiction from every angle, including at the southern border.
"When drugs are being gotten by us, we are stopping the drug flow as much as we can. Soon we're going to have a wall -- that's going to be a very powerful wall," Trump said.
Huddleston reported Trump asked people to come on stage to share their personal stories about how the opioid crisis has impacted their lives.
Among those speakers were two border agents who stopped a major cocaine shipment at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Trump told the audience that it will take time, but the country will solve the opioid drug problem.
"We will not solve this epidemic overnight. But we will stop ... there's just nothing that's going to stop us, no matter how you cut it," Trump said.
After his speech, Dan Salter, a local drug enforcement agent, told Huddleston that the president’s message set the right tone.
"It was a positive message. I thought the people he brought up to speak were amazing. You had victims, you had officers, law enforcement that lost children, that lost a son to drug addiction. So yeah, I thought it was very good," Salter said.
But others who work with addiction patients, said the president was more about politics and less about substance.
"I feel sometimes he brings things just about himself rather than, you know, that we're here for the people in recovery,” said drug counselor Erin Hurley.
The president also announced Wednesday that he has worked with the Chinese government to make distribution of fentanyl to the United States from that country a major crime.
Trump said the move will cut the number of fentanyl overdoses in the U.S. by the thousands.
Minute-by-minute look at President Trump's visit:
President Trump has finished his speech at the drug summit. He will now head back to the Atlana airport. Some roads will be closed.
President Donald Trump speaks at drug summit. Watch LIVE below:
First Lady Melania Trump introduces her husband at summit, saying "We are making great progress to help families recover."
Channel 2's Richard Elliot sat down one-on-one with the president to talk about hurricane relief, the opioid crisis and politics. See his interview on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.
President Trump and First Lady arrive at hotel for 2019 RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. The crowd is now awaiting his speech. Watch his speech LIVE here.
President Trump and First Lady Melania have left the airport for downtown Atlanta.
President Trump and First Lady Melania have stepped off Air Force One and will be leaving shortly to the drug summit.
Air Force One has arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport:
The Corey stack over the downtown connector is decorated for the president's visit:
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston is at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the opioid summit.
A presidential limousine just pulled up at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Protesters have gathered at Woodruff Park head of Trump's arrival. They plan to march to the Hyatt.
Channel 2's Richard Elliot is at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport awaiting the president's arrival in Atlanta.
For now, traffic is moving smoothly, but rolling roadblocks on the downtown connector start after the president arrives at 12:30 pm.
Police motorcycles are arriving to escort the Presidential motorcade from the airport:
Cox Media Group