Trump pledged during his campaign to make fighting addiction a top priority at rallies in some of the hardest-hit states in the nation. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., unveiled legislation which would invest $45 billion to combat the opioid crisis and called on Trump to direct the government to negotiate lower prices of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug used by first responders.
Trump's actions have been anticipated since the summer, when an opioid commission Trump convened recommended he declare "a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act".
The President pledges to overcome a crisis that kills almost 100 Americans a day - more than gun violence and vehicle crashes.
The president debated invoking a disaster emergency under the Stafford Act, which would have made FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund available for governors who declared the opioid crisis a disaster situation. A statement from Christie said the commission will give Trump "an even more comprehensive set of recommendations" to fight opioids in a report to be issued November 1.
He said it's the worst drug crisis in American history and a problem worldwide.
The declaration follows a bombshell report from The Washington Post and CBS News' "60 Minutes" implicating multiple members of Congress in the passage of a bill that significantly weakened the Drug Enforcement Agency's enforcement capabilities in the opioid crisis in favor of lobbying by pharmaceutical companies. They said any national resources and attention that could be devoted to the issue will help save lives. "It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction". Two other Granite State leaders, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Democratic Sen. "That means President Trump must use this declaration to boost treatment, invest in the people and programs that fight this every day, and make treatment more affordable".
In an interview that aired Wednesday with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business News, Trump said he was planning to declare an emergency during the "next week".
In three years, her three sons were gone. This speaks to something that is often lost when discussing the opioid epidemic: There are still lots of patients who need pain medication, and there are some concerns that because of new prescribing limits and the fear of feeding addiction, they are not able to get access to them.