Following the lead of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, US President Donald Trump has declared the rising opioid crisis in America a national emergency.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially, right now, it is an emergency,” Trump told the media in Bedminster, New Jersey. “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’s announcement came after the recommendation of the presidential opioid commission to “declare (the opioid epidemic) a national emergency.” And like his Philippine counterpart, Trump has vowed that he would also “win” his war on 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,” Trump said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who chairs the presidential opioid commission, thanked Trump “for accepting this first recommendation of our July 31 interim report.”
“I am completely confident that the President will address this problem aggressively and do all he can to alleviate the suffering and loss of scores of families in every corner of our country,” Christie said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the Commission’s efforts and to working with this President to address the approximately 142 deaths a day from drug overdoses in the United States.”
Trump allies like Attorney General Jeff Sessions have proposed dealing with the epidemic in the same manner as President Ronald Reagan’s 1980s much publicized war on drugs. “We need to say, as Nancy Reagan said, ‘Just say no,'” Sessions said in March.