President Donald Trump noted a decline in drug prosecution as he spoke to reporters about the United States' opioid "epidemic" Tuesday, attaching a criminal justice-related element to an issue in which a White House commission previously made mostly health-related recommendations.
US President Donald Trump (R) speaks at a meeting with administration officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (L), on the opioid addiction crisis at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8, 2017.
In 2015, we lost about 142 Americans every day to overdoses - "a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks", notes the July 31 report from the president's panel - and the toll is still climbing.
"The time has come to declare it a national emergency", said Lou Gargiulo, a Hampton Falls man who served as Trump's Rockingham County campaign co-chairman.
Trump has made it clear over the first six months of his presidency that the victims of this epidemic aren't almost as important to him as fighting the bad hombres he says are bringing drugs to the U.S. And less than two weeks into his presidency, Trump told Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that New Hampshire was a "drug-infested den". "Look, when you have the capacity of Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium dying every single year in this nation, that's a crisis that had to be given incredible attention, and the president is giving it that attention".
The commission recommended steps such as waiving a federal rule that restricts the number of people who can get residential addiction treatment under the Medicaid healthcare programme for the poor and disabled. He might also be able to direct more public health personnel toward states overwhelmed by the epidemic.
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Trump, according to the NBC report , also said he was considering firing the commander of us troops in Afghanistan, Army Gen. The incident is still under investigation and a joint USA and Afghan delegation earlier visited the area.
It was not immediately clear what an emergency declaration would have meant for the federal government's response to the opioid crisis. In addition, the report told Trump to prioritize funding and manpower for federal law enforcement agencies to stem the flow of fentanyl into the country, and to make the influx of fentanyl a top diplomatic issue with China.
When asked if President Trump would declare a state of emergency, Price said the president is treating the crisis "as an emergency, and it is an emergency".
The President said the "best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place".
In brief remarks to reporters before meeting with Mr. Price on Tuesday, Mr. Trump didn't mention the report or its recommendations.
From the White House press pool report: "Trump first delivered a statement about the opioid crisis, mostly reading from a piece of paper and sitting with both elbows on the table". If they don't start, they won't have a problem.
"The problem is very complicated, and now we are on the losing side of this war", she said. "We are going to solve that problem", Trump told the crowd. The panel also suggested Trump "declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act". Limiting its entry to the USA must become a "top tier diplomatic issue", the commission said.