President Donald Trump showed foresight in declaring the U.S. opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. His wide-ranging speech showed his commitment to combating the scourge, infers Dan Merica of CNN. He emphasized the need for stronger law enforcement to combat both illegal sales of drugs within the US and illegal drugs from entering our borders. Despite criticism that the president should have declared the drug pandemic a national health emergency, which would have directed federal funding from FEMA, he made the right tactical call, as FEMA money is meant for natural disasters, not health emergencies. Trump said that his administration will work with Congress to fund the Public Health Emergency fund
President Trump's declaring the opioid addiction a public health emergency falls short of truly helping to halt the drug’s widespread impact and harm, state Jayne O'Donnell and Terry DeMio in USA Today. The president should have declared the epidemic a national health emergency instead, which he had previously promised to do twice. This would have made more federal funding available for treatment programs, first responders, and addiction recovery assistance. The category of public health emergency only allows health commissioners to redirect money toward the opioid pandemic from other programs, which already have limited funds. Trump’s approach is too little too late.