President Trump donates third-quarter salary to health department

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has donated his third-quarter salary to the Department of Health and Human Services to help fight the opioid epidemic.

Acting Health Secretary Eric Hargan on Thursday accepted a check from the president in the amount of $100,000. Trump previously donated salary in the amounts of $78,333 and $100,000 to the National Park Service and the Education Department, respectively.

Hargan said the donation will be put toward the cost of planning and designing a large-scale public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.

Trump announced the ad campaign in October, the same time he declared opioid misuse a national public health emergency. The declaration included no new federal funding to combat the epidemic.

Hargan said 175 people die every day from drug overdose.

As a candidate, Trump had promised not to take a salary, which is $400,000 annually. By law, he must be paid, so he is donating the money.

Taxpayers can write off such donations, potentially lowering their income taxes.

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