Most people have never even heard of President Trump's older brother Fred, but the president revealed the powerful impact his brother had on his life last week.
The president was announcing that America's opioid crisis is now officially a public health emergency, which will help bring funding and public attention to the deadly epidemic. In 2015, 142 people in America died every day from drug overdoses, and 2/3 of those deaths were caused by opioids like Percocet or Oxycontin, as well as fentanyl and heroin.
This is the first time that a public health emergency has been delcared since 2009's H1N1 outbreak. But the important announcement was overshadowed by a personal message from the president. Warning Americans about the dangers of drug use, Trump remembered his late brother Frederick Jr.
Trump, who famously doesn't drink or smoke, said during his speech that he "learned because of Fred." He also remembered his brother as a "great guy, best looking guy," adding that while his personality was "much better than mine [...] he had a problem."
But the speech took many people by surprise. While President Trump's family was in the spotlight during his presidential campaign, Fred was barely mentioned. As it turns out, the president's brother was a very important figure in his life...
Like his younger brother, Frederick Jr. (who was named after President Trump's father) joined the family's real estate business in New York.
But Fred soon charted his own path, becoming an airline pilot for TWA. While he had a passion for his career, Fred became an alcoholic. In his best-selling autobiography The Art of the Deal, President Trump remembers his brother's warning to him: "Don't drink ever."
"He understood the problem that he had and that it was a very hard problem," Trump wrote. Soon, the man he remembered as a "free spirit" and the "life and soul of the party" had his life destroyed by alcohol. Fred died in 1981, at just 43 years old.
Trump, who doesn't drink, makes toast at U.N. luncheon (unclear if he takes sip), then hands off glass to aide pic.twitter.com/z91FMvOxd4— Ryan Beckler (@RyanBeckler) September 19, 2017
Trump is usually seen drinking a Diet Coke, but sometimes toasts with wine at public events.
Since his brother's death Trump has been outspoken about his decision not to drink or smoke. “If we can teach young people, and people generally, not to start, it’s really, really easy not to take them,” he said last week. The president hoped to get that message across to Americans using a "really big" series of anti-drug public safety commercials.
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[H/T: The Sun]