President Biden spoke passionately about his son Hunter’s recovery from drug addiction on Wednesday evening as he demanded more federal resources for addicts and for mandatory rehab to replace incarceration.
Amid questions about COVID-19 and the economy, the moment brought one of the most animated responses from the president.
‘My son just wrote a book about how he overcame being addicted and he did it and he’s doing it and he’s in good shape, thank God.’ he said.
President Biden’s spoke passionately about his son Hunter’s recovery from addiction as he laid out his four-point plan for ensuring that addicts get the help they need
The president spoke of his pride at the way his son Hunter had overcome addiction. ‘My son just wrote a book about how he overcame being addicted and he did it and he’s doing it and he’s in good shape,’ said Biden
Hunter has been a favorite target of conservative critics, who have delighted in his troubles and accused him repeatedly of cashing in on the family name.
Biden used his example and experience to set out a series of solutions to tackling the nations epidemic of drug abuse.
‘Here’s the thing. We don’t have nearly enough people involved in mental health and drug addiction services, number one,’ he said to some of the loudest applause of the night.
‘Number two, we shouldn’t be sending people to jail for use. We should be sending them to mandatory rehabilitation. Mandatory rehabilitation.
‘Number three, when people are in jail… if that’s not the main crime … they should be getting treatment while they are in jail.
‘Fourth, when people get out of jail, whether it’s for drug addiction or any other crime. If they’ve served their time, they should have full access to everything from Pell grants to public housing.’
More than 93,000 pepe died from drug overdoses in 2020, according to the latest figures from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention – an almost 30 percent increase on the previous year.
‘We have to deal with the idea of addiction by providing for what we all know: it’s a disease of the brain… and has to be treated as such,’ said Biden.
The town hall was held in a part of Cincinnati that voted heavily for former President Trump, giving Biden a chance to reach across the country’s divisions and speak directly to voters.
Much of the 90 minutes was dominated by questions about COVID-19 and the president hammered his vaccination message.
President Biden took the stage to a warm reception as he brought his messages on vaccines, infrastructure and the economy to Trump-supporting Ohio for a CNN town hall in Cincinnati
Biden faced questions on protecting children from COVID-19, replacing crumbling infrastructure, defunding the police, rebuilding the economy, tackling coronavirus misinformation and more
‘Look, it’s real simple. We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination. It’s that basic, that simple,’ he said.
Rising coronavirus cases at home and abroad have rattled stock markets and seen a string of counties around the nation return to mask mandates.
Biden dodged questions about whether he might have to impose a fresh lockdown and said vaccines may soon be approved for the under-12s.
But he received some of the warmest applause as he discussed his troubled son.
Hunter’s memoir, ‘Beautiful Things,’ was published earlier this year, detailing his lifelong battle with alcohol and drugs.
Hunter Biden’s has been back in the headlines as he launches an art career, raising concerns that buyers of his paintings – which some experts say could fetch $500,000 – may believe they are buying influence in the administration
‘In the last five years alone, my two-decades-long marriage has dissolved, guns have been put in my face, and at one point I dropped clean off the grid, living in $59-a-night Super 8 motels off I-95 while scaring my family even more than myself,’ he wrote.
He said his descent into addiction followed the 2015 death of his older brother Beau, who died from brain cancer at the age of 46.
At one point in 2019, after his family tried to stage an intervention, he writes how he called an Uber to take him away from a rehabilitation center.
‘For the next two days, while everybody who’d been at my parents’ house thought I was safe and sound at the center, I sat in my room and smoked the crack I’d tucked away in my traveling bag,’ he wrote.
The president’s brother Frank, children Hunter and Ashley, his niece Caroline and his late son’s widow who also became Hunter’s lover, Hallie, have all suffered from addiction issues and had spells in treatment centers – some at the orders of a judge.
In text messages to Hunter, Joe even referred to his son’s addiction as a ‘disease from mommy and me.’
The revelations shed a new personal light on the president’s previous war on drugs, criticizing George Bush Sr’s 1980s War on Drugs for being ‘not tough enough’ and writing punitive laws with harsher sentences for drug crimes when he was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the late 1980s and early 1990s.