President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.
According to The Washington Post:
With Trump’s declaration, the federal government will waive some regulations, give states more flexibility in how they use federal funds and expand the use of telemedicine treatment, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on Thursday morning.
But the president stopped short of declaring a more sweeping national state of emergency that would have given states access to funding from the federal Disaster Relief Fund, just as they would have following a tornado or hurricane.
The article lists intitiatives that the administration will roll out following the declaration including expedited hiring of federal health workers to help states in crisis.
While the declaration was a welcomed step, many expressed concern over the lack of funding to address the crisis. The article notes that the Public Health Emergency Fund only has $57,000 within it and experts believe the crisis requires tens of billions to adequately address.
Last week during a visit to Western Maryland Governor Hogan stressed the need for more federal involvement in the heroin crisis. The Cumberland Times-News reported:
“The (heroin) problem is still growing” Hogan said, “and I’ve said over and over again, it’s going to take the federal government. I wanted the president to declare a state of emergency, and I want the federal government to put more resources into it, because it’s literally the number one health crisis we have in the country.”
For more information:
Trump declares opioid crisis a public health emergency (The Washington Post)
Hogan thinks federal government should play greater role in opioid crisis (The Cumberland Times-News)