Trump Declares Opioids A Public Health Crisis

CNN’s Dan Merica, usually one to go all sorts of #Resistance when it comes to Trump, provides a mostly balanced article on what Trump’s announcement means

President Donald Trump declared a nationwide public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis Thursday at a White House event, rather than issuing a national disaster declaration.

Both are forms of national emergency declarations, but the primary difference is the scope and funding for each order.

“This epidemic is a national health emergency,” he said. “Nobody has seen anything like what is going on now.”

He added: “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue. It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction. Never been this way. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic. We can do it.”

Trump, through the Public Health Services Act, directed his acting secretary of health and human services to declare a nationwide health emergency, a designation that will not automatically be followed by additional federal funding for the crisis, according to a senior White House official.

Many, such as the NY Times Editorial Board, are having meltdowns that Trump did not use the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which would have immediately released funds meant for national emergencies (the Times is also suddenly against Words, which they used to love when Obama was making empty speeches), like hurricanes and floods. Using the Public Health Services Act, the focus is more tailored and focused.

But both Trump and Obama administration officials say that designation would have been too broad and put an undue burden on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, a fund already cash strapped by recovery efforts from the three major hurricanes that hit the United States this year.

Using FEMA funds to combat the opioid crisis would be “a little bit like asking an engineer to bake a cake,” said Rafael Lemaitre, the former communications director for the White House Drug Policy Office under President Barack Obama.

“I do think the Public Health Service Act is more appropriate route to take than the Stafford Act designation,” he said. “I worked at FEMA for two years and dealt with multiple disasters. The Stafford Act is not structured to deal with a long term, complicated public health crisis like the opioid crisis.”

After this, Dan starts diving into complaints about killing Ocare and stuff, the normal complaints, so, let’s jump to the editorial board of the San Diego Tribune

But the counterargument — that it doesn’t make sense to treat a long-term health crisis like a hurricane — has merit. And the public health emergency declaration is much more than a gesture. It means all affected federal agencies must take necessary emergency steps to reduce opioid overdose deaths. Among its many provisions, Trump’s order gives governors more flexibility in how they use federal grants to address the crisis. And it improves treatment for addicts in isolated rural areas, letting them talk to doctors using telecommunication technologies and get prescriptions without meeting the normal legal requirement they see a doctor in person.

They point out that this is a good start. But, it is important to now fund outreach and treatment by Congress (forgetting there needs to be more enforcement to stop the spread of opioids so that people do not start using them and need treatment.

Sadly, there are plenty of news outlets, both in straight news and opinion, who are manufacturing ways to bash Trump on this, rather than giving him the help and cheerleading needed to get it done.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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13 Responses to “Trump Declares Opioids A Public Health Crisis”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Trump was right on this.

    Now it’s up to the GOP Congress to fund the programs with billions of taxpayer dollars, even in the face of steep cuts in Medicaid.

  2. david7134 says:

    The problem is that the real crisis is an inability of doctors to get pain medications to those patients that need the substance. There certainly are some doctors who are giving out prescriptions in an inappropriate manner, but not that many. Doctors are strictly controlled by there state boards in this respect and the amount of medications that are prescribed are much lower than in the past. It seems that some of the drugs that we see involved in these issues are being distributed on the streets and are coming in from Mexico, and being manufactured in China. Now, consider this, if you go to Europe and many other countries around the world, you will find opiates for sell across the counter without a drug prescription, and those countries do not have a “crisis”. I have a friend who needed Xanax (yes, I know that is not an opiate, but in just a lower category than most pain meds). She went to the drug store and asked if they would honor her US prescription. She was told just to get it off the shelf and what aisle to use. The fact is that we need fewer laws on drugs and a freer society. The conservatives did not start this here, it was the progressives in 1913 and their experiment did not work and is not working. I sense that there is some other objective behind this push on drugs. It did not start with Trump, it started with Obama.

  3. Jeffery says:

    The problem is that the real crisis is an inability of doctors to get pain medications to those patients that need the substance.

    Why can’t doctors prescribe pain-relievers to patients in need?

    Each year physicians write over 200 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

    Once addicted to opioid pills, many switch to cheaper heroin, with its attendant violence (a federal attorney here claims much of the uptick in street violence in Chi and other cities is related turf wars related to “distributing” cheap heroin from Mexico).

    Do you really think it was progressives who pushed the 1914 Drug act claiming that “Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ Are New Southern Menace: Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower-Class Blacks” and “Negroes under the influence of drugs murdering whites, degenerate Mexicans smoking marijuana, and “Chinamen” seducing white women with drugs”.

    tRump and the tRumpublicans are in charge now, so why don’t they repeal the laws regulating drugs?

    • david7134 says:

      Jeff,
      Doctors are strictly limited on prescribing. If you have big time surgery, you get one prescription of an opiate to cover maybe 2 or3 dsys. Louisiana has even passed a law so that you don’t get more than one week of drug. Suffice it to say that people are hurting, for no reason other than to make it look like the politicians are doing something. Now, the average opiate is not dangerous. Taken in the manner prescribed, there is almost zero consequence to its use. But the politicians say that people should take over the counter drugs. Now these drugs have major issues, GI bleeding, renal failure and increased risk of MI and stroke. As to your perverted racism that is getting to be like a stuck record, it does not impress any one.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Do you really think it was progressives who pushed the 1914 Drug act claiming that “Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ Are New Southern Menace: Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower-Class Blacks” and “Negroes under the influence of drugs murdering whites, degenerate Mexicans smoking marijuana, and “Chinamen” seducing white women with drugs”.

    Yes. The law was proposed by a progressive, signed into law by a progressive president and the article from which you take the quote was written by a liberal for the New York Times, which has always been a left leaning publication.

    People don’t have to “think” anything.

    The facts speak for themselves.

  5. david7134 says:

    Oh, Jeff, I just saw more of your stupidity. There is no such thing as addiction. I am not getting into that, any intelligent person should know that is propaganda. As to Trump, ask him, he is doing great.

    • Jeffery says:

      So you oppose trump’s push to “treat” opioid addiction?

      • david7134 says:

        What I clearly said was that something else is going on. Trump is doing great. I know how to care for pain, so my family and I will be ok. You want.

        • Jeffery says:

          So you will break the law and write prescriptions for you family to treat their pain? Didn’t you just type that there were laws to prevent doctors from properly treating their patients?

          • david7134 says:

            I said I know how to treat pain, nothing else. By the way, in Louisiana they are more tolerant and I do have friends. You dont. I was really happy when you said you were going to ignore me, please do.

        • david7134 says:

          Jeff,
          I am sorry. I read your comment again and think you were referring to me using narcotics for pain relief. I forgot how ignorant you are. You see, it is possible to treat pain with many other drugs. I have even used ordinary blood pressure medications to stop the worst of pain. So don’t get your drawers in a wad.

  6. rotterdam says:

    Typical Leftist in America. The Clintons, DNC, Robert Mueller the Special prosecutor are all up to their eyeballs in bribes, kickbacks, and obstruction meanwhile the leading GOP committee investigating all of this says they don’t really want to talk to anyone about it.

    I guess because they most likely took bribes, kickbacks and committed treason themselves. You have to remember the original GPS dossier was paid for by one of their OWN. Most likely McCain or Cruz. No one wants to see their good buddy McCain go down in a blaze of glory at the end of his cancer riddled life. I mean no disrespect to McCain for wording it that way.

    It seems the MSM has gone silent on the Russian thing now devoting their every waking moment screaming foul over tax breaks, Trumps attempts at dealing with drug addiction and now a 300 million dollar contract was awarded to a company that consists of two people which originates in the city that one of the current cabinet members happens to call home.

    Anything to deflect. On top of this you have house members voting against the budget and Senate members that most likely will vote no, no matter what bill is brought to the floor because Trump does not play fair. Screw your people. Screw anyone. It wont take long for Trump to make that one big mistake and suddenly youll have the votes to get him the hell out of town on a rail and then the left will just start over with Pence.

    • david7134 says:

      Good observation Rottrr. I think the whole thing sucks. But you have not seen a thing yet, there is a war coming.

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