President Trump’s 'state of emergency' — a health commissioner's perspective (The Hill)
Monday Oct 30th, 2017
On Thursday, President Trump announced that he was declaring the opioid epidemic to be a public health emergency, rather than a national state of emergency. As a public health official on the frontlines of this epidemic, I am surprised and disappointed by the limited scale of this declaration.
Most importantly, the declaration comes with no specific funding. National state of emergency declarations come with commitments for new funding, not a request to repurpose existing funds. When natural disasters strike, funds aren’t removed from the community that is already hit hard in order to rebuild infrastructure. It does not make sense to take resources away from other health priorities to fight this epidemic.