Trump Moves to Declare National Emergency on Opioid Abuse

Just days after declining to label the opioid epidemic a national emergency, President Donald Trump has reversed course. Speaking to reporters outside his golf course at Bedminister, N.J., the president said that he would follow the recommendation of his opioid commission and make that delineation. “We’re going to draw it up and we’re going to make it a national emergency,” the president declared. “It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.” By declaring a national emergency, Trump will expand the resources available for state and federal authorities to combat the opioid crisis, in addition to enhancing treatment options for Medicaid recipients. His administration had refused to do as much just days ago, arguing that it had the resources it already needed, even though its own commission had recommended a national emergency be declared. It’s unclear what prompted Trump to change course on the matter.

—Sam Stein