Trump shifts to opioid crisis

Trump shifts to opioid crisis
© Greg Nash

President Trump on Tuesday shifted his focus to the opioid crisis.

Trump said on Twitter that he plans to hold a briefing about the epidemic later in the day at his New Jersey golf club.

"I will be holding a major briefing on the Opioid crisis, a major problem for our country, today at 3:00 P.M. in Bedminster, N.J." Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The president also shared a Fox News report on a new study that shows "overdose deaths have been severely underreported."

Late last month, the White House's opioid commission recommended that Trump declare a federal state of emergency over the epidemic.

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The commission — led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and charged with studying ways to combat and treat the opioid epidemic — filed a report on the crisis last month.

"The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act," the commission wrote in its interim report. 

"Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life."

Opioid deaths have risen for years and could kill nearly half a million people in the U.S. over the next decade if not addressed, according to a recent study from Stat News.