Tags: Donald Trump | Health Topics | Trump Administration | joe manchin | opioid | national health emergency | west virginia

Joe Manchin on Opioid Crisis in W.Va.: 'I'm Ground Zero'

(CNN's "The Lead")

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 05:24 PM

Sen. Joe Manchin praised President Donald Trump move on opioids Thursday, noting the core issue was whether smaller states with larger numbers of addicts will get enough federal aid to sufficiently fight the problem.

"I'm ground zero, West Virginia," the third-term Democrat told Jake Tapper on CNN. "I got more deaths per capita, more people addicted per capita.

"When, sometimes, the money gets divided up, it goes on population.

"Less than two million people live in my state, population wise," he explained. "Bigger states are going to get more share.

"We've got more problems."

Manchin, who attended President Trump's White House announcement, likened the opioid epidemic in the Mountain State to "fighting a war."

"You have your soldiers on the front line fighting," he told Tapper. "You ration out all the bullets equally — and you have soldiers not fighting.

"The guys on the front line run out of bullets while fighting."

President Trump's designation of a national public health emergency — not a national crisis — for opioids does not come with specific federal aid.

In addition, the Public Health Emergency Fund currently contains $57,000. The declaration lasts for 90 days and can be renewed.

Manchin told Tapper, therefore, the responsibility falls on Congress to allocate sufficient funds for states to tailor their responses based on individual needs.

"We are the appropriators," he said. "You ought to put your priorities where your values of life are.

"We're losing generations.

"Not only losing a generation of people, adults, families, right now — I'm losing kids that have to be raised up in it in a home that's basically has an epidemic with it, a drug crisis.

"That child will repeat the cycle," Manchin said. "We've got to stop it."

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who attended President Trump's White House declaration of the opioid crisis as a national heath emergency, likened the opioid epidemic in the Mountain State to "fighting a war."
joe manchin, opioid, national health emergency, west virginia
Thursday, 26 October 2017 05:24 PM
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