Former Fox News commentator Eric Bolling opened up Wednesday about the loss of his 19-year-old son Eric Chase Bolling from an opioid-related drug overdose in 2017, and said he was "overwhelmed" by the support he and his wife received in the aftermath of the tragedy, including from President Trump.
Bolling and his wife learned of their son's death on Sept. 8, and they would be informed seven weeks later from a toxicology report that their son died in Colorado after taking a Xanax pill laced with the painkiller fentanyl.
Bolling recalled how the president called him on Thanksgiving Day just as he and his wife were sitting down to a meal across from their son's empty chair to say he understood this was their first holiday without him, and he wanted the Bollings to know he was thinking of them.
"The guy has empathy and compassion for this and I think that matters," Bolling said. "This is the time to save some lives and that's what I hope I'm doing here, helping people become aware."
Bolling and his wife are expected to meet with Trump on Wednesday afternoon about the problem.
"Donald Trump himself has brought me in to talk. He cares about this issue, he really does," Bolling said. "I'm actually helping them out with one of their awareness programs."
Bolling, who left Fox News following allegations of sexual misconduct, has channeled his grief into raising awareness about the inherent risks involved with drugs. On Wednesday, he implored parents to discuss the issue with their children and to be mindful of any personality changes they may exhibit.
The White House on Monday proposed in its budget request $5 billion in new federal spending to fight the opioid epidemic, funding medical research on addiction and overdose-reversal drugs.