U.S. President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency on Thursday, stopping short of a national emergency declaration he promised months ago that would have freed up more federal money. Nathan Frandino reports.
TRUMP UPSOT: "This epidemic is a national health emergency." President Donald Trump responded to the nation's growing opioid problem on Thursday, by signing a public health emergency declaration that will redirect federal resources and loosen regulations to fight opioid abuse. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT, SAYING: "This marks a critical step in confronting the extraordinary challenge that we face." The announcement comes amid soaring overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 100 Americans die daily from overdoses. Prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl are among the most common opioids ravaging the country. The declaration would make treatment more accessible for abusers of those drugs. In his remarks, Trump said the government would go after the flood of cheap and deadly fentanyl made in China... as well as target what he called "bad actors" who he did not single out. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We will be bringing some major lawsuits against people and companies that are hurting our people." His declaration does not mean there will be more money however. The White House will have to work with Congress to help provide additional funds... without which some critics say the fight against opioids will fall short.