President Trump should declare a “national emergency” to combatthe nation’s opioid epidemic, according to a draft interim report issued Monday by the President’sCommission on Combating Drug Addiction and the OpioidCrisis.

“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America isenduring a death toll equal to September 11th everythree weeks,” the commission writes. The group adds a declarationfrom Trump “would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and wouldforce Congress to focus on funding and empowering the ExecutiveBranch even further to deal with this loss of life. It would alsoawaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has notfound you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, itsoon will.”

The commission, created by a March executive order and chairedby New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, provides additionalrecommendations after the group conducted public hearings and metwith representatives from the medical community, advocacy groups,governors’ offices, members of Congress, and key cabinet members ofthe Trump administration.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.