ABC/CBS Back Dems Slamming Trump’s Opioid Declaration, NBC Welcomes It

In a serious and touching ceremony at the White House on Thursday, President Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. The declaration promised to bring some relief to those battling addiction and allowed all states to move around their federal funds to where it’s needed most. But following Trump's move, many craven Democrats came out and claimed he wasn’t doing enough. And during their evening broadcasts, ABC and CBS held water for those partisan claims as they slung mud at the President. NBC, on the other hand, surprisingly touted the President’s actions.

As he began CBS Evening News, anchor Anthony Mason noted the grim reality of the opioid crisis by informing the viewers that, by the end of the broadcast three people would die from overdoses. “Today, President Trump declared a public health emergency to fight the epidemic, but critics were quick to say that does not provide the money to get the job done,” he added as the report began. And during the opening tease, he played a clip on Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi saying “show me the money.

President Trump stopped short of declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency, opting instead for a public health emergency declaration,” complained CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett. “Financing comes from the public health emergency fund, which has a balance of just over $56,000. The federal government estimates the crisis costs $75 billion annually.

Garrett sat down with the Obama administration’s drug tsar, Michael Botticelli who ripped Trump for not doing want needed to be done to end the opioid crisis. “Without any additional resource allocation, I think it really doesn't make a difference what we call it,” the Obama lackey smeared. “It's largely rhetoric, and very shallow in terms of really taking major actions against the epidemic.

For the introduction to ABC’s World News Tonight coverage of the opioid declaration, anchor David Muir was cynical, saying: “But the President was careful with his words, calling it a, quote, “public health emergency,” and why the words he chose could determine how much money the government will spend to fight this.

It’s worth noting that ABC was so concerned about the opioid crisis that instead of leading the show with this story, their first segment was about the JFK document dumb being delayed.

After explaining some of the benefits of Thursday’s declaration, senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega bemoaned how “the President stopped short of declaring a sweeping national emergency, something he has repeatedly promised.

Today, he said something slightly different, calling it a public health emergency. That means his action does not include emergency federal money to address the crisis that kills nearly 100 people a day,” she added. And in wrapping up her report, Vega hyped Pelosi’s “show me the money” comment and claimed the Democrat was “sounding the alarm about funding.

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Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt and chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson welcomed the President’s action on opioids. “No longer a slow-motion disaster, cheap, powerful, and plentiful opioids are taking more than 90 lives a day. Imagine that. And today the administration elevated the fight,” Holt announced as he began the segment. The president declaring it a public health emergency … More federal help comes as welcome news to cities and towns struggling under the weight of the burden

NBC did note that there was concern about additional federal funds, but after playing a clip of Pelosi’s comments, Jackson quipped, saying: “But that's something Congress has to do. Like Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from hard-hit West Virginia.” “It's up to us now to put the funding to it,” Senator Joe Manchin told her.

Jackson ended her report on a bright note saying: “Even though today's proclamation doesn't do everything some advocates want, experts say any attention from the President can only help, since it gets people talking about the crisis and talking about what else needs to be done to find a solution.

NBC then ran a second opioid segment where they spoke with people from Dayton, Ohio, an opioid epicenter. They thought the move was fine, but they were angry at ALL of Washington and said politicians just didn’t get what was going on.

Transcripts below:

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CBS Evening News
October 26, 2017
6:31:12 – 6:34:00 PM Eastern [2 minutes 48 seconds]

ANTHONY MASON: Good evening. I'm Anthony Mason. And by the time this broadcast is over, three people will be dead, victims of an opioid epidemic that's taking 140 lives in America every day. Opioids are responsible for the overwhelming majority of drug deaths, which these maps show have grown dramatically from just under 17,000 in 1999 to 52,000 in 2015, a more than 200 percent increase. Today, President Trump declared a public health emergency to fight the epidemic, but critics were quick to say that does not provide the money to get the job done. Here's Major Garrett.

[Cuts to video]

(…)

MAJOR GARRETT: President Trump stopped short of declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency, opting instead for a public health emergency declaration. It will streamline some access to addiction treatment, but provides few new resources. Financing comes from the public health emergency fund, which has a balance of just over $56,000. The federal government estimates the crisis costs $75 billion annually. Nearly 12 million people misused opioids last year.

(…)

GARRETT: In August, and again this morning the President said he would declare a national opioid emergency, which would have provided access to billions in federal funds.

MICHAEL BOTTICELLI: Without any additional resource allocation, I think it really doesn't make a difference what we call it.

GARRETT: Michael Botticelli, drug czar under President Obama, said today's announcement did not go far enough.

BOTTICELLI: It's largely rhetoric, and very shallow in terms of really taking major actions against the epidemic.

GARRETT: In his speech, Mr. Trump talked about addiction in personal terms. He cited his brother, Fred, who died at 43 of alcoholism.

(…)

...

ABC
World News Tonight
October 26, 2017
6:35:00 – 6:38:52 PM Eastern [3 minutes 52 seconds]

DAVID MUIR: Meantime, President Trump declaring war on the nation's opioid crisis today, and offering a very personal story about his brother and his battle with addiction. But the President was careful with his words, calling it a, quote, “public health emergency,” and why the words he chose could determine how much money the government will spend to fight this. ABC's senior white house correspondent Cecilia Vega tonight.

[Cuts to video]

CECILIA VEGA: With the stroke of a pen today, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history.

(…)

VEGA: Declaration means: Patients in rural areas can reach doctors and obtain prescriptions to treat addiction by phone or internet. Unemployed workers who lost their jobs because of addiction will receive job training and assistance. And it lifts bureaucratic red tape, allowing more funding for treatment centers in all 50 states. But the President stopped short of declaring a sweeping national emergency, something he has repeatedly promised.

(…)

VEGA: Today, he said something slightly different, calling it a public health emergency. That means his action does not include emergency federal money to address the crisis that kills nearly 100 people a day. For more than a year, ABC news followed families battling the effects of addiction. In New Hampshire, David sat down with Rory Smith, who found his son, Aaron, in their basement, overdosed.

(…)

VEGA: Now, from President Trump, a familiar call to action targeting young people with a just say no style ad campaign.

(…)

VEGA: The President said his own wakeup call came from his older brother, Fred.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Cecilia Vega joining us from the white house. And Cecilia, it was deeply person, the President's story, but the white house is still facing tough questions tonight about whether the President's action today is an adequate response for a crisis of this magnitude.

VEGA: David, this comes at a time when the health secretary here was fired for questions over his use of private jets. The drug czar recently resigned no replacement has been named. And tonight, Democrats are sounding the alarm about funding. Nancy Pelosi today said: “show me the money.” But David, as you know, the president, right there in that story, called this a winnable war.

(…)

...

NBC Nightly News
October 26, 2017
7:01:27 – 7:04:27 PM Eastern [2 minutes 59 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: Good evening and thank you for being here. We start with a dramatic White House announcement and pledge for action in the face of a catastrophe literally killing communities and destroying families across the country. No longer a slow-motion disaster, cheap, powerful, and plentiful opioids are taking more than 90 lives a day. Imagine that. And today the administration elevated the fight. The president declaring it a public health emergency.

(…)

HOLT: More federal help comes as welcome news to cities and towns struggling under the weight of the burden. Even now, worries that today's declaration may fall short. Our chief white house correspondent Hallie Jackson has details.

[Cuts to video]

(…)

HALLIE JACKSON: The president getting personal.

(…)

JACKSON: Donald Trump's connection to addiction -- his older brother. An alcoholic who died in his 40s as President Trump now promises to rally the national family to fight an addiction crisis in this country.

(…)

JACKSON: The President's directing his administration to declare a public health emergency, months in the making. But he stopped short of a broader national emergency that could have triggered more money for the crisis. The White House defends the president's move as an "impactful first step" which will make it easier for people in rural areas far from doctors to get treatment over the phone or computer. And it will let states shift around federal money to focus on the opioid epidemic. But this proclamation will not unlock new federal funding and needs to be renewed every three months.

NANCY PELOSI: What I would say to the President on that is show me the money.

JACKSON: But that's something Congress has to do. Like Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from hard-hit West Virginia.

JOE MANCHIN: It's up to us now to put the funding to it

JACKSON: It’s up to Congress to get the money behind it.

MANCHIN: That’s exactly it. That’s exactly it.

JACKSON: Will it be a fight come December?

MANCHIN: It should not be a fight because there’s not been one state's been spared.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

JACKSON: Even though today's proclamation doesn't do everything some advocates want, experts say any attention from the President can only help, since it gets people talking about the crisis and talking about what else needs to be done to find a solution. Lester?


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