Opioid commission member worried Trump won’t follow through on addressing crisis

Opioid commission member worried Trump won’t follow through on addressing crisis
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A member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE’s commission on opioids is concerned that the president won’t declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

Patrick Kennedy, a former lawmaker and current member of the commission, told The Washington Post that he and other members of the commission, including chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), are worried that the president won’t go through with his promises.

“Christie doesn’t mince words,” Kennedy said. “He said, ‘If he doesn’t recognize this as the issue of our time, his presidency is over.’ ”

Trump promised in August to issue a national emergency declaration but has been harshly criticized for his delay in doing so. He said last week that he would like to declare the national emergency this week, and is expected to give a speech on the topic soon. 

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The commission, which Trump established in May, recommended in July that the president declare a national emergency.

Kennedy said that there are several concerns about the effectiveness of a national emergency declaration, including that it would conflict with the president's and GOP’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

“The current efforts to repeal the ACA, as opposed to strengthening it, are irreconcilable with dealing with this crisis in the way that it needs to be dealt with,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy added that members of the commission could “distance themselves” from Trump if he does not follow the commission’s recommendation.