[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and a group of ten senators, led by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), called on President Donald Trump to take immediate action on the opioid crisis and answer specific questions about the President’s overdue promise to declare the epidemic a national emergency. In July, the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, created by President Trump, provided a number of recommendations to help address the opioid crisis, including declaring a national emergency. Unfortunately, President Trump has yet to act on any of the Commission’s recommendations. In the letter sent today to the White House, the Senators ask how the administration is evaluating the emergency declaration recommendation and the steps it will take to end the opioid use disorder and overdose crisis.
“Regardless of whether you choose to declare a state of emergency, continued inaction on this issue is deeply concerning,” write the senators in their letter. “In order to effectively treat this crisis with the urgency it demands, we believe you must take action immediately to expand treatment capacity, increase prevention efforts (including prescriber education initiatives), improve data sharing, and support detection and interdiction efforts to address the supply side of this epidemic – all recommendations for action proposed by the Commission you created.”
Blumenthal and Markey were joined by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in signing the letter.
A copy of the letter can be found here.