The opioid epidemic is a recent blight on American society. Finally, a president will declare it a national emergency. On Thursday afternoon, President Trump will declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency.
He made the announcement initially at a press conference in New Jersey. The president said, “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency.”
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price believes this won’t do much in the fight. In August, Price said, “We believe that at this point, the resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crises can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency.”
Chris Christie, however, believes it’s a step in the right direction. Earlier this year, Christie said, “The first and most urgent recommendation of this commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency.”
Currently, the United States has 28 national emergencies. Most deal with diplomacy or national security. The opioid epidemic will now be considered a health emergency; a rare classification.
From the Independent Journal Review:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 183,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids like methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl and hydrocodone since 1999. Six states — Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia — have declared a national emergency over the opioid crisis starting in June 2014.
At the moment, nobody knows exactly what the Trump administration will offer. Reporters pressed Sarah Huckabee Sanders. While she had no details, she said the administration was working “diligently” to find a solution.
Most of the implication is that federal funding will make its way into combating the crisis.
If we’re keeping score, this is the first national emergency that Trump will declare. During his eight-year term, President Barack Obama declared twelve.