According to a White House pool report, President Donald Trump is drafting paperwork for his first national emergency: the opioid epidemic.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” Trump said. “It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”
Trump made the announcement during an appearance Thursday outside his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey, where he is on a 17-day vacation. When pressed by reporters on whether he needs emergency powers, Trump said, “We’re going to draw it up, and we’re going to make it a national emergency.”
“It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. You know when I was growing up they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years. And I have to say this in all fairness, this is a worldwide problem, not just a United States problem. This is happening worldwide. But this is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now to so attest.”
Declaring a national emergency was the “first and most urgent” recommendation from an interim report released last week from a White House commission tasked with helping curb the epidemic.
On Tuesday, Trump received a private briefing on the crisis with administration officials and advisers.
In brief comments before that meeting, Trump vowed an intense effort on opioids, saying he would work with law enforcement inside and outside of the country against “drug dealers that poison our communities.”
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