search
Sections List
American Journal News

Trump makes a mockery of the opioid crisis as his own voters suffer

Donald Trump has long promised action on the drug crisis ravaging rural communities and tearing families apart with death and loss — particularly in Appalachia, where his core base is anchored. During his campaign, he vowed one of his signature policies would be to “end the opioid epidemic in America.” Fast forward to today. Trump has done […]

By Matthew Chapman - October 26, 2017
Share
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has long promised action on the drug crisis ravaging rural communities and tearing families apart with death and loss — particularly in Appalachia, where his core base is anchored. During his campaign, he vowed one of his signature policies would be to “end the opioid epidemic in America.”

Fast forward to today. Trump has done barely anything for these communities. Indeed, some of his proposals and goals would actively hurt them.

On Thursday, the administration announced that the opioid crisis would be declared a public health emergency. This comes two full months after Trump promised that he would declare the crisis a much stronger “national emergency” designation.

While a “public health emergency” declaration is better than nothing at all, failing to declare a full national emergency means the Cabinet will have less authority and funding to help afflicted communities than it would have had. Public health emergencies also must be renewed every 90 days, while national emergencies need only be renewed annually.

His promises during his campaign resonated with those very voters he is now abandoning. Analysis shows that the higher the rate of opioid use in a county, the more people in that county voted for Trump — even though Hillary Clinton and Democrats actually had a far more comprehensive plan on substance abuse treatment and funding.

Trump’s bizarre delay, followed by a partial walk-back of his promise, is just the latest in a series of decisions that fail to live up to the rhetoric.

In August, Trump argued the best way to prevent opioid addiction was “by talking to youth and telling them: ‘No good, really bad for you in every way.’”

Former first lady Nancy Reagan taught us the hard way that “Just Say No” is useless — it infantilizes mental illness as a personal choice, and ignores the cultural problems and drug industry lobbyists that are causing people to Just Say Yes.

Moreover, Trump has still not named a drug czar to deal with the problem. His nominee, Republican Rep. Tom Marino, bowed out after journalists detailed his role in legislation weakening federal drug agents’ authority to check shipments of prescription narcotics.

All the while, Trump has pressured his congressional GOP colleagues to pass a bill repealing Obamacare. Every one of the proposed repeal bills would have slashed hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, which is the nation’s main funding source for substance abuse treatment.

The one area of drug enforcement Trump’s Cabinet has taken seriously is marijuana, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions rumored to be planning a crackdown in states that have legalized its use. But studies show legalized marijuana actually decreases rates of opioid abuse and death — and a new Gallup poll finds even a majority of Republicans now think marijuana should be legal.

Trump built himself up as the man who would solve our nation’s drug emergency. Instead, time and again, he has abandoned the people who need his help most — and his shallow gesture today is a drop in the bucket next to his failures.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

By Evan Popp, Maine Morning Star - February 14, 2024
Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle - February 12, 2024
Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune - January 26, 2024
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024