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Photo: Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The opioid/heroin/fentanyl crisis is both a public health issue and a law enforcement issue — and law enforcement clearly was the higher priority yesterday as President Trump unveiled his administration's latest proposals to combat the crisis.

What he said: Trump spent the bulk of his time in yesterday's speech talking about drug dealers and illegal products. He talked at length about giving some drug traffickers the death penalty; he talked about "sanctuary cities" and made a pitch for the border wall; and he talked up a "just say no" type of TV ads to discourage young people from trying drugs. Public health interventions took a backseat.

Yes, but: The administration's top health care officials are, of course, focused on the health care side of the issue. HHS secretary Alex Azar, who appeared with Trump yesterday, has endorsed medication-assisted therapy and lifting Medicaid caps on inpatient mental-health treatment.

One more thing: Trump and Azar said yesterday that the administration is planning more big moves — or at least, more fanfare — around the separate issue of drug prices.

  • "We're going to have a major news conference, probably at the White House, in about a month," Trump said.
  • "We're going to be rolling out, as you mentioned, in about a month, a whole slate of other proposals around how we decrease the price of drugs and how we bring discounts that the middlemen right now are getting — how those will go to our patients," Azar said.

Go deeper

Job gains slow sharply as U.S. adds 210k jobs in November

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate plummeted to 4.2% from 4.6%.

Why it matters: Job gains slowed sharply, but the labor market recovery remains on track.

Elon Musk's mega-billion bounty

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Here's how insanely rich Elon Musk is: He has unloaded $10 billion of his stock in the past month — and could do that 15+ more times given his silos of shares.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Huawei sanctions snarled chip supply chains

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largely successful U.S. effort to hobble China's Huawei has benefitted a host of other tech companies — from smartphone makers such as Apple and Xiaomi to chipmakers like Qualcomm to network vendors including Nokia and Ericsson.

Yes, but: The massive disruption to the industry furthered an industry wide mismatch between supply and demand, exacerbating the global chip shortage.