The White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has asked President Donald Trump to "declare a national emergency" to help fight the deadly opioid epidemic, reports ABC News.
"The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act," wrote the committee, which is led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, in its interim report released on Monday.
"Our nation is in a crisis," said the report. "Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it. The opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled. The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined."
Gov. Christie led a public conference call with the commission on Monday to discuss their findings and vote on their interim report. Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts was not able to join Christie, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and Professor Bertha Madras, Ph.D. on the call but the members present voted unanimously to move their report forward.
The report underscores the grim toll being taken by the crisis, saying that with the 142 deaths per day blamed on opioids, "America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks."