Clinton Drug Czar on Trump’s Opioid Crisis Speech: ‘Best Presentation of This Issue I’ve Heard in Over a Decade’

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The director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Bill Clinton administration called President Donald Trump's speech Thursday on the opioid epidemic in the United States "the best presentation of this issue I've heard in over a decade."

Barry McCaffrey appeared on MSNBC to discuss Trump's remarks, in which the president declared the country's opioid crisis to be a public health emergency.

Host Chris Jansing asked McCaffrey, a retired Army general, for his thoughts on Trump's remarks.

"This was, I think there is no doubt about it, Gen. McCaffrey, a call to action. The question is, how specific a plan for action and will the plan work? What did you hear from the president today?" Jansing asked.

McCaffrey said that Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.), who previously pushed for more details on funding for Trump's effort to address opioid abuse, had valid concerns.

"Well, I agree with Sen. Markey, you got to have the funding at some point," said McCaffrey, who went on to praise Trump's speech.

"But Chris, I got to be blunt. That's the best presentation, comprehensive overview of this issue I've heard in over a decade," said McCaffrey, Clinton's former drug czar. "Just simply magnificent."

McCaffrey added that he wished Trump mentioned Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, noting that "we actually understand this issue quite well."

Jansing followed up with NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres.

"This was, indeed, a finely crafted statement. How do you think it will be received by the people who may well be affected significantly by this and that is the medical community?" Jansing asked.

"I think it's actually going to be viewed very well," Torres said.

He added that he will be watching for details in the coming weeks on prevention and education for doctors and the public.

"A multi-pronged approach he talked is a good starting point here," Torres said. "Over the next days and weeks we're going to find out exactly what the details are in that, and I think that's going to be extremely, extremely important."

Conor Beck

Conor Beck   Email Conor | Full Bio | RSS
Conor Beck is a Media Analyst for the WFB. He's previously written for The College Fix, Life News, and was a Student Free Press Association Fellow for The Weekly Standard. He graduated from Rice University in 2017.

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