Senior Trump Health Officials Visit CDC to Talk Opioids

Dec 5, 2017

Host Intro: Two senior health policy officials visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday in Atlanta to talk about the Trump administration’s effort to tackle the opioid crisis. 

Both Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma and Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan attended the press conference. During his remarks, Hargan said that the opioid crisis is a top priority for the Trump administration.

Hargan said President Trump donated his third quarter salary, or around $100,000, to go towards fighting the opioid crisis and that the HHS plans to use the money to mount a massive public awareness campaign, similar to what was seen with previous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anti-smoking campaigns. 

“This effort to build awareness and to keep people from falling into addiction is a key part of the over opioid strategy that has been unveiled under President Trump,” said Hargan.

Hargan said the President’s strategy has five main points: surveillance and data collection, research into pain and addiction, overdose reversal drugs, pain treatment and prevention and recovery services.

He said they plan to partner with local communities, but did not describe what partnerships would look like. 

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.