The Daily Showdown
Trevor Noah applauds what Trump promised to do on the opioid crisis, explains what he actually did
America has a serious opioid problem, and it began with doctors freely prescribing pain medicine that drugmakers swore wasn't addictive but actually was, Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. He noted the case of tiny Kermit, West Virginia, where drug distributors shipped a huge amount of oxycodone. "Nine million pills for 400 people?" he marveled. "Even if one of those people is Charlie Sheen, that still leaves 8 million pills unaccounted for." In response, the pharmaceutical industry bought the right to write a law shutting down a DEA enforcement mechanism to stop such suspect shipments.
"So the opioid crisis is huge and the pharmaceutical industry isn't really interested in helping," Noah said. "But fortunately my friends, as we saw in August, there's one man who gets it." President Trump promised 10 weeks ago he'd declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, which could have been a big step, and on Thursday, "Trump finally came through — give him a round of applause, don't be haters," Noah told his audience. "He declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency — which I just realized is not a thing."
It may seems like an insignificant word change, but there's a major difference between a national emergency and a public heath emergency, Noah explained — the former, which Trump promised to sign, has access to $23 billion, while the latter gives opioid crisis fighters access to a fund with $57,000. "That's a huge difference," he said. "Put it this way: If you had to go to rehab, who would you want funding it, the CEO of Verizon, or Craig who works at Verizon?" He sighed. "This isn't even one of those days where I'm angry at Trump, I'm just disappointed," Noah said, offering a darkly hilarious comparison between what he promised and what he delivered. Watch below. Peter Weber