Ten Democratic senators sent President Trump a letter asking him to formally declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, USA Today reports.
Trump announced in August he was declaring a national emergency, but he has not yet taken formal steps to do so. If he does officially declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, then FEMA can make money available to states.
States could also request aid, and public health workers could be redeployed to fight the epidemic.
“Regardless of whether you choose to declare a state of emergency, continued inaction on this issue is deeply concerning,” the senators wrote. “In order to effectively treat this crisis with the urgency it demands, we believe you must take action immediately to expand treatment capacity, increase prevention efforts (including prescriber education initiatives), improve data sharing, and support detection and interdiction efforts to address the supply side of this epidemic – all recommendations for action proposed by the Commission you created.”