Trump declares opioid epidemic a public health emergency

New Jersey congressman discusses the crisis.President Trump on Thursday declared the opioid epidemic to be a national public health emergency. The declaration clears the way for the federal government to waive some regulations and give states greater leeway to use federal funds to confront the crisis, which is killing more than 100 people per day. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said. “It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge of drug addiction. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic. We can do it.” Trump stopped short of declaring a broader state of emergency that would have let states tap into the federal Disaster Relief Fund available after a tornado, hurricane, or other catastrophe.

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