Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump said this afternoon that he's ordering up paperwork to declare the opioids crisis a national emergency — apparently overruling Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price, who said just two days ago that an emergency declaration wasn't necessary. "We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency," Trump told reporters.

The back story: The White House opioids commission, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, had recommended the emergency declaration. But Price said on Tuesday that national emergencies are usually reserved for "a specific area, a time-limited problem — either an infectious disease or a specific threat to public health."

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,553,591 — Total deaths: 561,038 — Total recoveries — 6,909,209Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,188,982 — Total deaths: 134,130 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

6 hours ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.