After a scathing 60-Minutes report on the opioid crisis in America; pharmaceutical companies and shady black market pill mills; Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R=Tenn.)
A joint investigation by “60 Minutes” and The Washington Post is sending ripples through Washington. In the report, a former DEA insider-turned-whistleblower accused drug distributors, aided by Congress and lobbyists, of fueling the opioid epidemic. Bill Whitaker has more from the investigation.
President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he would officially make a national emergency declaration to fight the opioid epidemic next week, a move he billed as a “major announcement.”
The measure comes after Trump, on the steps of his golf club in New Jersey, pledged in August to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. 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.
“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, billing the official declaration as a large step that took time.
During an impromptu news conference in the White House Rose Garden alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump said he would declare a national emergency when asked why he had not followed through with his initial pledge.
His August statement was heralded by local and state drug treatment advocates who had worried Trump wouldn’t follow through on campaign rhetoric to fervently combat the opioid epidemic. Those advocates have largely felt let down by the Trump administration, especially because his failed health care plan would have stripped money for treatment and let state decide whether to cover such services.