Trump Won't Declare State of Emergency Over Opioid Crisis

Trump relatively quiet on opioid crisis despite campaign vows

Among those briefing the president on the opioid crisis were Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Richard Baum, the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In his remarks, Trump emphasized that law enforcement officials are targeting drug dealers and working to stop the flow of drugs from China and Mexico, two of the main sources of opioids like heroin and illicit fentanyl. The group was charged with studying "ways to combat and treat the scourge of drug abuse, addiction, and the opioid crisis".

In a meeting with cabinet members and his senior staff at his golf club in Bedminster, Trump did not refer to report that the Christie-led panel delivered to him last week. So if we can keep them from going on and maybe by talking to the youths and telling them: "'No good, really bad for you in every way.' But if they don't start, it will never be a problem". The commission told Trump that an emergency declaration would allow the administration to remove restrictions on where Medicaid patients can receive treatment and to negotiate lower prices on naloxone - a life-saving overdose antidote - for government units.

Some experts in Philadelphia said declaring an emergency wouldn't have had much impact. "To date, the Trump administration's response to the opioid crisis is an epic fail".

Trump, however, has been criticized in recent weeks for saying he won New Hampshire, a state ravaged by the opioid crisis, because the state is a "a drug-infested den", according to a leaked transcript of a January conversation with the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto The Washington Post reported.

Trump declined the reports' recommendation about a national emergency.

After a campaign full of promises to solve the opioid crisis, denying his own commission's top suggestion is Trump's most obvious middle finger to those who believed he would attack the problem.

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According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released separately, overdose death rates in the third quarter of 2016 reached a record-high of 19.9 deaths per 100,000, and the trend shows a consistent increase over the past almost two years.

Earlier this month, the Commission issued its draft interim report ahead of the release of a final report later this year.

The task force largely encouraged a public health approach to the epidemic.

"First, [an emergency declaration] lets states and localities that are designated disaster zones to access money in the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just like they could if they had a tornado or hurricane", said Humphreys.

Later, Price added: "Most national emergencies that have been declared in the area of public health emergency have been focused on a specific area, a time-limited problem - either an infectious disease or a specific threat to public health".

You can read the latest comments from Price and Conway here.

Kellyanne Conway, counsel to the president, said along with discussing medication and treatment, Tuesday's briefing also looked at how to better educate doctors. Several Republican lawmakers who did not vote for their party's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this summer said that the legislation would make it more hard for their states to combat the heroin epidemic.

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