President Donald Trump today officially declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency under federal law, but the speech was short on specifics about what the declaration means in terms of funding.
He called the opioid crisis the worst in American history. The epidemic, he said, has led to the deaths of 175 Americans per day, seven lives per hour. No part of society has been spared the plague of drug addiction, said Trump, who said he learned to stay away from alcohol and cigarettes because of his brother Fred, who suffered from alcoholism.
“We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic,” Trump said.
His declaration will allow all executive federal agencies to use every appropriate authority to fight the opioid crisis.
Trump said he will outline specific recommendations after he receives a final report from a presidential commission with potential solutions. The White House administration will act quickly to evaluate the findings and implement recommendations, he said.
Below is a timeline of Trump's reaction to the opioid crisis since taking office:
Production editor Eli Richman contributed to this story.