Verify: What is a public health emergency?
In August and just last week, President Trump promised to declare a State of National Emergency over the opioid crisis.
But on Thursday he said, "my administration is officially declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency under federal law." There's a big difference between the two.
So what is national health emergency?
Here's what our VERIFY team found:
These declarations are primarily used for short-term emergencies. It mostly frees up money and creates more flexibility to round up federal, state and private resources.
- In this case, it shifts grants to help people get treatment and opens up an option for telemedicine, which will help people in rural area.
- It lets states and the feds hire substance abuse specialists on a temporary basis.
- The declaration also frees up Labor Department grant money for people out of a job because of addiction to get treatment.
- Finally, it taps into the Public Health Emergency Fund.
If you suspect someone you love is battling opioid addiction, here are some resources:
Treatment Services Locator
For Pregnant Women
Michigan State Research