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President Donald Trump speaks during an event to declare the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency in the East Room of the White House. Photo: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump declared a "nationwide public-health emergency" on the opioid crisis today. Although the declaration doesn't open up new funds (some estimate more than $9.3 billion is needed), Trump argued that "the federal government is aggressively fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts."

The bottom line: Trump shared the personal story of his brother's alcohol abuse and offered a solution to the opioid crisis: "Really tough, really big, really great advertising so we get to people before they start." His prediction: "If we can teach young people not to take drugs ... it's really, really easy not to take them."

Trump detailed more of what this means:

  • The introduction of "a new policy to overcome a restrictive rule that prevents states from providing care at treatment facilities ... for those suffering from drug addiction." (The administration explained earlier this declaration will expand telemedicine services, allowing people to make temporary appointments with specialists who can be deployed to address the opioid crisis at treatment facilities in rural areas.)
  • He will spend "lots of money" when "pushing very hard the concept of non-addictive pain killers."
  • He will discuss the flow of Chinese opioids into the United States with China's leader, Xi Jinping.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services will launch a new task force for best practices in pain management across the U.S.
  • POTUS insisted that the federal government will use "every appropriate resource available" to address the opioid crisis.

Go deeper: Inside Trump's declaration of a "nationwide public health emergency" and what that means.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.