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Opinion: Tackling opioid epidemic right move by Pres. Trump in terms of politics & policy

President Donald Trump speaks during an event to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Fighting the opioid epidemic is a true life or death issue for millions of Americans.

The Trump administration continues to take concrete steps to address the opioid crisis.

On Thursday, the president declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. That designation allows for significant changes in the way the government is able to address this crisis.

The actions on this key front are not being done for show.

By declaring the opioid epidemic a national emergency, President Trump is hoping to bring about real, positive change in the lives of Americans.

This is an issue that crosses party lines. I expect that a continued concentration on defeating the opioid epidemic is going to resonate with the American public in the midterms and, very much so, when the president runs for reelection.

However, if the crisis hasn’t gotten any better in, say, a year from now - that’s going to matter, too.

The next key to this will be getting the funding necessary to combat the crisis. While the president’s declaration did not provide any extra funding, we can expect Congress to get involved and my hope is that overcoming this epidemic will remain a bipartisan effort.

Here’s the bottom line: This is an action by the president that should receive broad bipartisan support. I expect for that support to be reflected in approval ratings and, when the time comes, at the ballot box. More important, however, is ensuring that the health of Americans, the lives of Americans, are improved by the continuing fight against opioids.

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