Trump will declare opioid crisis a public health emergency: reports

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President Trump on Thursday will direct the acting director of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to announce that the opioid epidemic is a public health emergency, according to a report in USA Today.

Trump, however, will not call for declaring the crisis a national emergency during an event at the White House about the opioid epidemic, the newspaper reported, contradicting the president’s comments on Wednesday.

{mosads}”Drug demand and opioid misuse is the crisis next door,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told USA Today about Trump’s forthcoming speech.

“This is no longer someone else’s co-worker, someone else’s community, someone else’s kid. Drug use knows no geographic boundaries or demographic differences.”

CBS News later confirmed the USA Today report.

Trump in August said the administration was preparing paperwork to pronounce the epidemic a national emergency.

“There are a lot of good people that are seeing what’s going on and I think we’ll be successful in that next week I’m declaring an emergency — a national emergency — on drugs,” Trump told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs during an interview on Wednesday. “The opioid [crisis] is a tremendous emergency.”

Trump’s opioid commission in an interim report advised the president to declare the crisis a public health service emergency or an emergency under the Stafford Act.

—This report was updated at 8:10 a.m.

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