President Trump has declared the national opioid epidemic to be a public health emergency. With this new declaration means that, under the Public Health Services Act, federal agencies will be directed to devote more grant money to fight the epidemic. While this act does not entail additional federal funding, federal agencies will devote existing money in the budget to combat the opioid epidemic. Had the president enacted the Stafford Act, it would have opened up resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. In not enacting the Stafford Act, it sets a precedent of the fundamental differences between natural disaster emergencies and health emergencies.
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