Trump and Vice President Pence held a joint press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, a day after the opioid crisis took its first significant hit.
Trump called the crisis “a crisis that’s happening all over the country, and it’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re going to do everything we can to fix it,” Trump said.
Pence said the crisis is not just an opioid crisis.
“The epidemic of prescription opioid use is a crisis that affects people of all ages, all races and all walks of life,” Pence said.
“It’s a crisis of trust that we have to rebuild, a crisis, that I have to be here and I have been a strong supporter of the opioid epidemic.”
The two also talked about the opioid problem.
“What we’ve seen is an uptick in the number of Americans that have prescriptions for opioids, a trend that we’re continuing to see,” Pence told reporters.
“And that’s something we’ve got to take care of, because we’re not getting the resources that we need to treat and cure this.”
The opioid crisis has been particularly devastating to minorities and the poor.
More than one in five Americans, or 14.7 million people, have used opioid painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trump has pledged to fight the opioid issue and said he is considering lifting the moratorium on new drug approval and putting more resources toward the development of new drugs.
The president also said that the opioid death toll from the crisis has risen to more than 26,000.
“We’re still not over it,” he said, “but we’re getting there.”
Pence and Trump also discussed the opioid opioid crisis with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Trump, who is considering 2020, also met with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D.M., a former federal prosecutor and current Democratic member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.