Thur, Oct 26, 2017: Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency

President Trump on Thursday directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, taking long-anticipated action to address a rapidly escalating epidemic of drug use.

But even as he vowed to alleviate the scourge of drug addiction and abuse that has swept the country — a priority that resonated strongly with the working-class voters who supported his presidential campaign — Mr. Trump fell short of fulfilling his promise in August to declare “a national emergency” on opioids, which would have prompted the rapid allocation of federal funding to address the issue.

His directive does not on its own release any additional funds to deal with a drug crisis that claimed more than 59,000 lives in 2016, and the president did not request any, although his aides said he would soon do so. And he made little mention of the need for the rapid and costly expansion of medical treatment that public health specialists, including some in his own administration, argue is crucial to addressing the epidemic.

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Tue, Aug 8, 2017: Trump vows victory in fight against opioids

U.S. President Donald Trump (R), flanked by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price, delivers remarks on North Korea during an opioid-related briefing at Trump's golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump promised to win the fight against a U.S. epidemic of opioid drug use, but offered no new steps to do so and did not act on a recommendation made by a presidential commission that he declare a national emergency.

Trump spoke at an event he had billed as a “major briefing” on the opioid crisis during a two-week “working vacation” at his private golf club in New Jersey. He also used the appearance to unexpectedly issue a stern warning to North Korea over its threats to the United States. Continue reading “Tue, Aug 8, 2017: Trump vows victory in fight against opioids”