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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) speaks out after Trump's opioid declaration. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio is the kind of Democrat President Trump might have been able to get on his side. He's a centrist, and he's from a district that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis. But in an interview with Axios, he said he's not impressed by Trump's "public health emergency" declaration — he thinks Trump is underestimating the amount of help that the most devastated communities need.

Why it matters: Ryan has introduced various bills to address substance abuse and has been fighting the opioid epidemic for the last five years. His county in Ohio experienced record-high incidents of opioid overdoses in September, and he urged Trump back in April to declare a national emergency.

What the declaration means: "It's very underwhelming in the sense that all it does is free up $57,000 more to try to address this problem," Rep. Ryan said. "$57,000 could barely help Trumbull County, one of the 88 counties in Ohio, let alone the entire country. I don't think he understands the level of destruction that's happening in these communities."

The Trump effect: "It's kind of typical of Trump's approach to governing where there's a lot of ceremony and smoke and mirrors, and when the dust settles there's not a whole lot that has been done." Ryan also said that the administration hasn't engaged him in discussions about solutions for the opioid crisis, even though he's a co-chair of the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus and a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Drug Task Force.

"Some of us were hopeful because he used this during his campaign a lot so we thought he'd be aggressive, but he hasn't been," Ryan said. "It took them six months to even do this [declaration]."

Go deeper: Inside Trump's "public health emergency" declaration and what he said during his speech.

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.