Aside from a single context-free two-word tweet, Donald Trump managed to not make a whole lot of noise on Tuesday, leaving late night hosts without the wealth of material they had on Monday with Trump’s comments about how he totally would have tried to take down that school shooter in Florida had he been there. On “Late Night,” host Seth Meyers took the opportunity to review a longer running issue: Trump’s response, or lack thereof, to the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse.
“President Trump vowed to do everything in his power to fight the opioid epidemic, which takes the lives of 174 people each day, ravaging families and ripping communities apart. So what has Trump actually done to tackle this issue and who is he putting in charge of this task?” Meyers said as he introduced a segment dubbed “The Check In.”
“America has about four percent of the world’s population but about 27 percent of the world’s drug overdose deaths. For now, opioid addiction is one of those uniquely American problems, like type 2 diabetes and adults wearing shirts with Disney characters on them,” he continued.
“Among other promises to fight the opioid epidemic, Trump said he would increase funding and give resources to states that needed it most right away, so how did that go?”
Meyers then cued up a montage of political commentators discussing how it has basically not gone at all. He included a clip from Fox News. “That’s what Trump watches to feel good about himself. That’s like if a kid tuned into ‘Mr. Rogers’ and Mr. Rogers said, ‘News flash, snot nose, I don’t wanna be your neighbor.'”
Later, Meyers dug into the actual “concrete” plans the Trump administration had laid out for trying to figure out the crisis, like trying to tell everybody that drugs are bad.
“Ugh, we already tried this and it didn’t work, but of course that isn’t stopping Trump from trying,” Meyers said as the show played a clip of Trump claiming that “there is nothing desirable about drugs.”
“The problem, of course,” Meyers then weighed in, “is that there is something desirable about drugs. They make you feel great. That’s why we have a huge problem with drug addiction and no problem at all with celery addiction! You never hear anyone saying, ‘Yo man, you got a stalk?’
“For years doctors and pharmaceutical companies pushed opioids for everything from root canals to a twisted ankle and everybody said ‘cool,’ because the drugs made them feel great. So I’ll ask you again, Mr. President, how do you prevent addiction?”
At this point, Meyers played another clip of Trump talking about trying to convince the youths that drugs are bad. To which the host reminded viewers that that kind of message doesn’t work in America, the land of people eating Tide Pods.
Next, Meyers broke down exactly how Trump messed up the situation by putting Kellyanne Conway in charge of fixing the problem, while gutting the Office of National Drug Control Policy by cutting most of its budget and putting inexperienced legacy hires in place as administrators, like Rudy Giuliani’s son Andrew.
“Trump’s budget proposal did ask for additional funding to fight the opioid epidemic, and the justice department recently announced that it would go after manufacturers and distributors. Those are positive steps,” Meyers said as he was concluding the segment.
“But at the same time, Trump is also trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and slash Medicaid programs that already help people who are addicted. And that is, um, what’s the phrase I’m looking for?”
Then part of one of the clips of Trump speaking ineffectually about the drug problem played again, with Trump saying: “No good, really bad.”
You can watch the full segment above.