North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is among those urging President Trump to declare a national health emergency, saying every day 142 Americans die from a drug overdose, equivalent to a Sept. 11 death toll every three weeks.
Speaking on the PBS Newshour on Tuesday, Cooper said the statistics were "completely unacceptable," and underscored the need for the president to declare a national emergency.
"It could free up federal funds, it could also allow states to have the flexibility to provide more treatment, and we're working together to address the problem, and it's something we need to do right now," he said.
Cooper is among three governors on the White House's opioid commission, which delivered a report to Trump urgently requesting him to declare a national emergency. The commission is also asking for increased treatment under Medicaid, and the increased use of medication that helps people overcome addiction.
Also included on the panel are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy.