WASHINGTON — President Trump signed legislation Wednesday aimed at helping people with deadly diseases try experimental treatments, calling it a “fundamental freedom” that will offer hope and save lives.

Joined by families dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other diseases, Trump signed the so-called Right to Try bill and said he never understood why the issue had lagged for years and Congress hadn’t acted sooner.

“There were no options. But now you have hope – you really have hope,” Trump said. He noted that “for many years, patients, advocates and lawmakers have fought for this fundamental freedom.”

The bill cleared the House last week following an emotional debate in which Republicans said it would help thousands of people in search of hope. Many Democrats said the measure was dangerous and would give patients false hope.


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