Nov 29, 2017

Conway will oversee opioid epidemic response, Sessions says

Kellyanne Conway will oversee the White House's efforts against the opioid overdose epidemic on Wednesday, according to BuzzFeed. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Trump has asked Conway "to coordinate and lead the effort from the White House," according to BuzzFeed, in remarks that were different than his statement prepared for the event.

Sessions also announced a Drug Enforcement Agency field office in Louisville and called on U.S. attorney's offices to appoint an opioid coordinator, BuzzFeed reports.

Why it matters: The White House has not yet released a strategy on how to approach the crisis, BuzzFeed reports, nor has a head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy been appointed. A majority of the 64,000 overdose-related deaths in 2016 were due to opioids. Opioid policy expert Andrew Kolodny told BuzzFeed Conway's appointment is "a positive sign" because it shows "the administration is taking this seriously."

Update: The White House tells CBS Conway's role is not expanding and opioids has always been part of her policy portfolio.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
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Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted early Tuesday that he'd just left the Bronx and the police commissioner was sending additional assistance to problem areas. Protesters were "overwhelmingly peaceful" Monday, he said. "But some people tonight had nothing to do with the cause + stole + damaged instead," he added.