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Laxalt Poised to Let Opioid Emergency Order Expire without Pushing for Action

Yesterday, Politico reported that the Trump administration has so far failed in its promise to provide relief to states combating the opioid crisis, despite declaring a public health emergency almost 90 days ago. The emergency declaration is set to expire on January 23rd — less than two weeks from now — and Nevadans have yet to receive any of the promised relief from the Trump administration.

Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last July on a range of topics, including the opioid epidemic, and touted his commitment “to collaborating with our federal partners on important public safety issues.”

Yet as Trump’s opioid order nears its expiration date, Laxalt has failed to pressure his pal Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration to follow through on any of their promises to help the millions of individuals affected by the opioid crisis. Nevada has the nation’s fourth-highest drug overdose mortality rate.

One aspect of Trump’s order that would be especially helpful for Nevada is expansion of telemedicine — the ability of doctors to treat, monitor, and prescribe virtually. Telemedicine is a promising solution for some of the thousands of Nevadans living in rural communities who have limited access to a physician, which can be an obstacle to seeking addiction treatment or therapy for chronic pain.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:

“After cozying up to Attorney General Sessions and pledging to work with his buddies in the Trump administration to secure needed resources to fight Nevada’s opioid crisis, Adam Laxalt has apparently decided to look the other way while Trump once again defaults on a commitment he made to the American people. Our state deserves a governor who will fight tooth and nail for us and hold the Trump administration accountable — not peddle empty promises that hurt Nevadans.”