TO TELL THE TRUTH: Truth-telling is a constant matter of debate in Washingtonian political circles, but The Truth Initiative was the focus on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
First Lady Melania Trump spoke with teenagers supportive of the Truth Initiative, the public health organization that aims to end tobacco smoking. She spoke with the adolescents about the hazards of vaping and praised one young man who said he started vaping at the age of 12 and eventually quit after getting caught in school, according to a White House press pool report.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway attended the event in the Blue Room. Conway said, “Our first lady is really adding visibility to what is a growing crisis in our nation with e-cigarettes. I knew it was bad on a personal level as mom of four — two ninth-graders, a fifth grader and a fourth-grader right now. A friend of a friend’s child said, ‘In my school, the high schoolers say: ‘Who thought to put toilets and sinks in the vaping room?’” according to the pool report.
At the end of the discussion with nine students in the White House, FLOTUS, who wore a Bottega Veneta gray cap-sleeve dress, said, “We need to be proactive,” complimenting the stores that have taken them off the shelves, according to the pool report.
Earlier in the week Trump delivered an anti-vaping message wearing a black Prada dress at the kickoff event Monday for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Red Ribbon Rally.
In other health-related efforts, FLOTUS — in a black coat with shovel in hand — broke ground Tuesday for a new tennis pavilion on the South Lawn. Funded by undisclosed donors, the project will be designed as “a testament to American craftsmanship and skill” and will encompass the Children’s Garden, according to a White House press release. The pavilion will be “a place for First Families to gather and spend leisure time,” the release noted. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to build tennis courts, which were installed near the south side of the West Wing.