Opioid Commission Member: We Worry Trump Won’t Act To Address Drug Crisis

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., sits with Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., before a House Democratic caucus meeting at the Capitol Visitor Center, March 20, 2010. (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A member of President Donald Trump’s opioid commission said in an interview published Monday that the panel is not optimistic that its recommendations will lead to any action to address the nationwide crisis.

Former Democratic Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a member of Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, told the Washington Post that “the worry is that” the commission’s final report of recommendations to combat the crisis, due for release Nov. 1, “won’t be adopted.”

Kennedy said that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is the commission’s chair, told him that the success of Trump’s presidency could depend on the President’s response to the opioid crisis.

“Christie doesn’t mince words,” Kennedy told the Washington Post. “He said, ‘If he doesn’t recognize this as the issue of our time, his presidency is over.’”

Trump in August said he would declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, and last week said he would take that “very important step” sometime “in the next week.”

Politico reported that White House officials were blindsided by his announcement. No emergency declaration has yet been forthcoming.

Trump’s administration faces a number of setbacks when it comes to taking any action to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remains leaderless after Tom Price resigned as secretary in September amid questions about his use of private aircraft.

The Drug Enforcement Administration remains leaderless after Chuck Rosenberg stepped down as acting head in September after criticizing Trump’s remarks Rosenberg said “condoned police misconduct.”

And Trump’s pick to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), withdrew his name from consideration in October after the Washington Post and CBS News reported that Marino pushed legislation making it harder for the DEA to freeze shipments of opioids from companies with suspicious sales.

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Trump will tweet about the tremendous success his administration is having and bitch about Kennedy and Christie’s criticism.

    The opioid crisis will get the same amount of attention from Trump as coal jobs that come back…

  2. After a whole 10 months, we can all predict his behavior. Only three and a half years to go!

  3. Of course not. Trump has been too busy squabbling with war widows and the NFL between trips to his golf courses.

  4. Sounds like another fuckup to me. Add this one to the list. If this was included in the rap sheet for a repeat criminal offender, it would be twice the length of my arm by now.

  5. Why do people tip toe and mince their words with this sick child? Call him a lying, lazy, dumb, piece of shit!!! WILL SOMEONE PLEASE?!?!?!?! FFS!

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

42 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for pluckyinky Avatar for richardinjax Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for brooklyndweller Avatar for sysprog Avatar for mikem42 Avatar for epicurus Avatar for sconosciuto Avatar for psyclone Avatar for mrf Avatar for darrtown Avatar for tena Avatar for clauscph Avatar for tsp Avatar for albesure Avatar for spencersmom Avatar for romi Avatar for the_loan_arranger Avatar for carolson Avatar for ohcomeonnow Avatar for greenman66 Avatar for glaze_of_boring

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: