By David J Lynch

Two months after vowing to declare a national emergency over the nation’s opioid crisis, Donald Trump on Thursday directed his acting health secretary to proclaim a more limited “public health emergency” to combat the worsening epidemic.

The move is intended to marshal the federal government’s numerous agencies for an across-theboard assault on a spiralling drug problem that claimed 64,000 Americans last year — more than were lost in the entire Vietnam war.

Appearing in the East Room of the White House, Mr Trump pledged to “overcome addiction in America” during a 30-minute event featuring former addicts and relatives of those caught up in the crisis.

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