Trump Still Won't Declare a National Emergency to Address the Opioid Crisis

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump has no "immediate" plans to declare a state of emergency amid the growing national opioid crisis, despite the recommendation of a bipartisan commission.

"Our citizens are dying," the bipartisan commission wrote in its report to the president. 

New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie headed the commission, which also asked the Trump administration to waive a federal rule that's preventing poor and disabled people from accessing health care related to opioid addiction.

"We say to the president, you must declare an emergency," Christie said on CNN last week, likely hoping that the TV-obsessed president would see the clip.

Instead, the country was treated to Price parsing the word "emergency."

"The president certainly believes that we will treat it as an emergency—and it is an emergency," Price said.

Opioid deaths have more than quadrupled since 1999, and there is no end in sight to the expanding crisis. Numbers for the last year aren't yet available, but they're expected to be the worst on record.

Making "America great again" won't bring much comfort to the communities that are losing their children to drug overdoses.


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