“As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” declared President Trump on Thursday afternoon. “It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”
Shortly afterward, he declared a public health emergency. It will target the opioid crisis, which kills more than 100 people each day.
Functionally, the declaration will waive some regulations, give states more flexibility in how to use federal funds, and expand the use of “telemedicine” treatment, according to The Washington Post.
President Trump has a personal reason for wanting to combat opioid abuse. His older brother, Fred Trump, who died of alcoholism-related complications. Trump described his brother as the “best looking guy,” with the “best personality, much better than mine,” but “he had a problem.”
In the speech, the president credited his brother for warning him about the effects of drinking. He hopes a concerted advertising campaign could discourage people from trying alcohol and drugs.
“I learned because of Fred; I learned,” said President Trump, who says he has never drunk alcohol or smoked a cigarette because of his brother.
“He really helped me. I had someone who guided me.”
The president added, “"[Fred] had a problem with alcohol, and he would tell me, 'Don't drink.”
President Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, spoke to an audience that the White House. The audience included family members of those affected by the opioid crisis, as well as administration officials and elected leaders from around the country.
The First Lady also commented on the issue saying, “We are here today because of your courage… The opioid epidemic has affected more than 2 million Americans nationwide, and sadly the number continues to rise.… No state has been spared, and no demographic has been untouched.”
What do you of President Trump’s commitment? Let us know in the comments.
In other news, another actress has come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape.