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Trump’s 24-year-old opioid czar leaves administration

Weyeneth was the source of much consternation.


David Covucci


Posted on Jan 25, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 3:28 am CDT

Taylor Weyeneth, the 24-year-old whose elevated profile in the Trump administration caused an online stir, will leave the administration at the end of January.

Earlier in the month, news broke that Weyeneth had been appointed deputy chief of staff of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the agency overseeing America’s opioid epidemic.

Weyeneth had graduated in May of 2016, and his only previous work experience had been on the Trump campaign. Weyeneth rose to the position after the agency saw a high-level of turnover in the past year. When his high-level role was revealed, outrage ensued, including a letter to the president from 10 Democratic senators expressing their displeasure.

“As troubled as we are by [Taylor] Weyeneth’s appointment, your delay in nominating qualified leaders for ONDCP and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is even more concerning.  You have claimed that the opioid epidemic is a top priority for your administration, but the personnel you have staffing these key agencies—and the lack of nominees to head them—is cause for deep concern.

It had earlier been announced Weyeneth would be reassigned to “administrative” work. Now, however, he’s leaving the administration altogether.

“Mr. Weyeneth has decided to depart ONDCP at the end of the month,” the White House said in a statement.

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2018, 8:10 am CST