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Trump speaking about the opioid crisis in March. Photo: Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The White House will roll out the next phase of its response to the opioid crisis this week, roughly a year after President Trump’s high-profile declaration that the epidemic constitutes a public-health emergency.

Details: On Wednesday, Trump will sign Congress' recently passed opioids legislation, which, among other things, eases limits on Medicaid funding for addiction treatment and expands access to medication-assisted treatments similar to methadone. He’ll be joined in the East Room by roughly 20 other organizations announcing their own initiatives, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said in an interview.

  • Health insurer Cigna will roll out a new initiative for veterans, and Emergent Biosolutions will announce it’s donating doses of Narcan, the overdose-revival drug, to every public library and YMCA in the country, Conway said.

Where it stands: Congress and the Trump administration have steered billions of dollars to help with the crisis, and most of that work has been bipartisan, highlighted by the fact the bill Trump is signing passed the Senate 98-1.

  • But overdose deaths are still climbing — as they were well before Trump took office — though Conway said the administration is encouraged by the declining rate of growth in overdose deaths.
  • "This crisis could well get worse before it gets better. We’re trying to bend the curve in the right direction," Conway said.

What’s next: The White House’s anti-opioids advertising campaign is continuing, and First Lady Melania Trump is also slated to speak at Wednesday’s event. Conway said opioids are the one public policy issue that the Trumps work on together.

  • Yes, but: Many public-health experts are skeptical these ads will make a big difference. The most important thing, they say, is more money for treatment programs. Congress and the White House have provided more than $6 billion so far, but the crisis is still far from over.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker