President Trump has officially declared that next week a national emergency against the opioid epidemic will officially be signed.
"We are going to have a major announcement, probably next week, on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem and I want to get that absolutely right," Trump said.
Trump announced that the decision of his administration to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency will take place next week. It has been more than two months since Trump and his administration began to draft the paperwork for the declaration.
On Sunday, President Trump became aware of a series of news reports which detailed current legislation that is weakening the Drug Enforcement Administration's authority to halt drug distributors. Trump, who wants to escalate the war on drugs in order to prevent drug crime and addiction, responded to the reports by making this announcement. Tom Marino, a recent nominee to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was supposedly the primary defender of this "soft" legislation.
The Hill reports that President Trump called the national emergency declaration "time-consuming work," but that an official declaration will still be made soon.
Despite Trump admitting publicly that a national emergency declaration is a time-consuming job, the mainstream news media have criticized him for taking such a long time.
CNN, for instance, wrote that "The President, though, never backed up that statement by officially doing so, thus far depriving the fight against the deadly drugs a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power."
The announcement came in an impromptu news conference in the White House Rose Garden alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In this news conference, Trump was asked why he had not followed up yet on his pledge that he made over two months ago to declare the national emergency.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency. 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,” said Trump during the summer, according to NBC News.
He then continued, “It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had. This is a national emergency and we are drawing documents now...”
Trump’s summer announcement, described by NBC News as a “surprise,” came two days after he promised that the United States would “win” the fight against the epidemic.
Here is Trump's initial announcement from last summer.
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