Tags: kellyanne conway | opioid | drugs

Report: Conway's 'Opioid Cabinet' Freezes Out Policy Professionals

Image: Report: Conway's 'Opioid Cabinet' Freezes Out Policy Professionals
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:20 AM

Kellyanne Conway is running point against the scourge of the nation's opioid epidemic while drug policy professionals sit on the sidelines, effectively neutered by President Donald Trump's White House, Politico reports.

Further, the acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rich Baum, with decades of experience, has yet to be invited to any of Conway's meetings on how to combat the opioid epidemic, Politico reports.

Instead, two political appointees from ONDCP with zero drug policy experience are part of Conway's opioid cabinet instead, Politico reports.

The result: A forthcoming "just say no" campaign and calls from the Conway-led group to build a border wall to defeat the opioid epidemic, Politico reports.

"It's fair to say the ONDCP has pretty much been systematically excluded from key decisions about opioids and the strategy moving forward," a former Trump administration staffer told Politico.

In fact, Trump is expected to slash the budget of ONDCP by 95 percent, something he considered doing last year. He hasn't named a permanent director, the chief of staff was fired last month and replaced by a 24-year-old deputy, and the office has three political appointees, down from nine last year, Politico reports.

So it's Conway and an opioid cabinet devoid of drug policy professionals.

"Kellyanne Conway is not an expert in this field," substance abuse consultant Andrew Kessler told Politico. "When you appoint a secretary of labor, you want someone with a labor background. When you appoint a secretary of defense, you want someone with a defense background. The opioid epidemic needs leadership that 'speaks' the language of drug policy."

However, having the ear of the president carries enough weight for some.

"It's a really good sign that one of the president's top advisers has been assigned to such an important topic," Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and CEO of the Addiction Policy Forum, told Politico.

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Kellyanne Conway is running point against the scourge of the nation's opioid epidemic while drug policy professionals sit on the sidelines, effectively neutered by President Donald Trump's White House, Politico reports.
kellyanne conway, opioid, drugs
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2018-20-06
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:20 AM
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