IRVINE (CNS) - An entrepreneur from Irvine who was allowed to try experimental drugs to combat her cancer under a bill signed into law by President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak tonight on the opening night of the Republican National Convention.
Natalie Harp, a member of the advisory board for Trump's re-election campaign, will be among what the Trump campaign is billing as “everyday Americans from different walks of life'' speaking on each of the convention's four nights.
Harp first came to Trump's attention in 2019 in an appearance on Fox News Channel when she praised his signing of the Right To Try Act, which expands health care options for terminally ill Americans.
“I was watching and I heard the story of an incredible, unbelievable young woman who is battling rare bone cancer,'' Trump said on June 26, 2019, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference. “Her name is Natalie Harp and she lit up the television screen like very few people I've ever seen do it. And she talked about how they were preparing her for death. And because of Right to Try, she's now living and, I think, doing phenomenally well.''
The Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 amended federal law to allow certain unapproved, experimental drugs to be administered to terminally ill patients who have exhausted all approved treatment options and are unable to participate in clinical drug trials.
“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure,'' Trump said in 2018. “I want to give them a chance right here at home.''
A longtime Orange County elementary school teacher who was the lead plaintiff in a case that challenged mandatory union fees for public employees was also scheduled to speak at the convention Monday. The Supreme Court deadlocked in 2016 on Rebecca Friedrichs' case, thus affirming a lower-court decision against her.
“I'm here to give voice to America's great teachers because our voices have been silenced for decades by unions who claim to represent us,'' Friedrichs plans to say, according to an excerpt of her speech released by the Trump campaign. “Democrats stand with deceptive teachers' unions who pick on loving teachers and little kids. President Trump stands with America's families, great teachers, and most importantly our children.''
Friedrichs in 2017 founded For Kids and Country, which bills itself as a San Clemente-based “coalition of parents, teachers, mature students, faith leaders, and citizens standing together to restore proper authority, excellence and safety in America's schools.''
Trump's second-term agenda, released Sunday, includes providing “school choice to every child in America,'' which has been long vehemently opposed by teachers' unions, fearing it will reduce school funding, which is traditionally based on enrollment.
The theme for the convention's first night is “America, Land of Promise.'' Other scheduled speakers include former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, who played for the Trump-owned New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.
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