President Trump will not declare a national emergency for the opioid epidemic because it does not meet the criteria and isn't needed, the president's top health official said Tuesday.
The decision means Trump is not going to abide by a recommendation from an opioid commission that he convened to study the problem that is killing 62 Americans a day.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters that the declaration, which would free up funds and let health workers waive red tape, is not needed. His comments came after meeting with Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
"We believe at this point that the resources that we need or focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis can be addressed without the declaration of emergency," he said.
Previous national health emergency declarations have focused on a specific area, being intended for a "time-limited problem, either an infectious disease or specific threat to public health," he said.
He gave some recent examples of public health emergencies, including the Zika virus and Hurricane Sandy.