Oct 26, 2017

Inside Trump's "nationwide public health emergency" on opioids

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump will direct the Department of Health and Human Services later today to declare "a nationwide public health emergency" in response to the opioid epidemic, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on a call.

Between the lines: The declaration will not unlock new federal funds to address opioid abuse. Instead, the administration will work with Congress on an end-of-year budget deal and talk about securing more money at some point in the future. The declaration will last 90 days and can be renewed every 90 days if necessary.

The administration officials said that the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by Chris Christie, suggested HHS declare a "public health emergency" instead of a "national emergency," which Trump told Fox News' Lou Dobbs just yesterday he would do. "Next week, I'm going to declare an emergency, national emergency on drugs," Trump said.

What a "public health emergency" declaration will do, per senior admin officials:
  • Expand access to telemedicine services. This will allow people to make temporary appointments with specialists (among federal and state workers) who can be deployed to address the opioid crisis under this declaration in rural areas.
  • Department of Labor can issue grants to provide displaced workers with new opportunities via worker displacement programs.
  • Certain HIV/AIDS programs will shift funds to provide more substance abuse treatment to people who are already elegiible for these programs.

The administration officials wouldn't say how much money they hope to secure from Congress to fight the opioid crisis.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health