Trump to de­clare opi­oid cri­sis a na­tional emer­gency

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Thurs­day that he will of­fi­cially de­clare the opi­oid cri­sis a “na­tional emer­gency” and pledged to ramp up gov­ern­ment ef­forts to com­bat the epi­demic. “The opi­oid cri­sis is an emer­gency. And I am say­ing of­fi­cially right now: It is an emer­gency, it’s a na­tional emer­gency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of ef­fort and a lot of money on the opi­oid cri­sis,” Trump told re­porters dur­ing a brief ques­tion-an­dan­swer ses­sion ahead of a se­cu­rity brief­ing Thurs­day at his golf course in Bed­min­ster, New Jersey. He said he’d be draw­ing up doc­u­ments to for­mal­ize the dec­la­ra­tion soon. A drug com­mis­sion con­vened by Trump and led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie re­cently called on Trump to de­clare a na­tional emer­gency to help deal with the grow­ing cri­sis. An ini­tial re­port from the com­mis­sion noted that the ap­prox­i­mately 142 deaths each day from drug over­doses mean the death toll is “equal to Septem­ber 11th ev­ery three weeks.” Trump re­ceived a brief­ing on the re­port ear­lier this week dur­ing his 17-day work­ing va­ca­tion in New Jersey.

Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Tom Price seemed to sug­gest after that brief­ing that the pres­i­dent was lean­ing against the rec­om­men­da­tion, ar­gu­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion could de­ploy the nec­es­sary re­sources and at­ten­tion to deal with the cri­sis with­out declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency. Still, Price stressed that “all things” were “on the ta­ble for the pres­i­dent.” At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions com­mended Trump for “tak­ing this dras­tic and nec­es­sary mea­sure to con­front an opi­oid cri­sis that is dev­as­tat­ing com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try and rip­ping fam­i­lies apart.”

Christie ap­plauded Trump’s de­ci­sion in a state­ment, say­ing the pres­i­dent “de­serves great credit.” “As I have said be­fore, I am com­pletely con­fi­dent that the Pres­i­dent will ad­dress this prob­lem ag­gres­sively and do all he can to al­le­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing and loss of scores of fam­i­lies in ev­ery cor­ner of our coun­try,” he said. Trump said Thurs­day that the na­tion’s ad­dic­tion to opi­oids is “a se­ri­ous prob­lem, the likes of which we have never had.”—AP

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