President Trump says he plans to declare opioid emergency

President Donald Trump speaks during signing ceremony for Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, on June 23, 2017 (Photo credit Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration is working to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officials, right now, it is an emergency. It is a national emergency,” Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “We are going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.

“We are going to draw it up, and we are going to make it a national emergency. It’s a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”

Trump’s comments come just two days after Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price suggested that declaring a national emergency was unnecessary.

“We believe that at this point, the resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crises can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency,” Price said, “although all things are on the table for the president.”

Trump made it known exactly where he stood Thursday: “This is a national emergency.”

Senator Donnelly released a statement Thursday evening regarding the plan:

“I am pleased that President Trump plans to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. We know that it will take all of us working together to effectively turn the tide against this public health crisis that has harmed so many families in Indiana and across the country. I hope this declaration will lead to necessary, additional resources for states and local communities to ensure those battling substance use disorders can access treatment.”