First lady Melania Trump unveiled a new campaign aimed at boosting the social and physical well-being of children and reducing “destructive and addictive behavior” on social media and beyond on Monday in her first major White House address since President Donald Trump was elected.
The initiative – called the “Be Best” campaign – “will champion the many successful well-being programs that provide children with the tools and skills required for emotional, social, and physical health,” according to the website for the newly-unveiled push.
"There are too many critical issues facing children today,” Melania Trump said during a speech at the Rose Garden as the president and other administration officials looked on. “So the three main pillars of ‘Be Best’ will be include well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.”
The first lady has maintained a limited political portfolio since the president entered office while signaling an interest in tackling issues facing children, like cyberbullying.
In recent months, the first lady has made visits to a school in Michigan, where she told students about the importance of acting kindly, and a West Virginia clinic that treats infants born with opioid addiction.
In March, Trump hosted technology leaders at the White House to discuss the importance of addressing bullying on the web.
The first lady’s interest in tackling cyberbullying has drawn scrutiny, however, given her husband’s prolific use of Twitter as a tool to attack his political detractors.
During the White House press briefing earlier Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed a question over whether the president bore responsibility for creating a hostile climate online.
“I think the idea you are trying to blame cyberbullying on the president is kind of ridiculous,” Sanders said. “When it comes to kids and something that has been problematic and something that we have seen over the last decade. The first lady sees it to be an important issue and something she wants to address.”
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