Christie confirms he will chair Trump opioid addiction task force
WASHINGTON D.C — Gov. Chris Christie confirmed that he will head a presidential task force on the nation's opioid addiction epidemic.
"It's an issue he feels cares passionately about and so do I," Christie told Fox and Friends on Wednesday morning, one of three morning show appearances he made from the front of the White House.
"This is an epidemic in this country and what this task force hopes to do is look at the issue of prevention and interdiction of drugs before they come to our country but also the issue of treatment," said the governor. He did not say he would be leaving office, and said he "loves being governor."
Christie said that addiction is a disease, and one of the goals of the task force is to help people to "renew their lives and become productive citizens of society." The board will look at what states are doing and report back to President Donald Trump with recommendations on how to address the problem at a federal level.
One of the challenges of getting treatment is who will pay for treatment, especially in light of the ongoing battle over Obamacare. Christie said there is a shortage of facilities to effectively treat patients and hopes to bring solutions being used in New Jersey and other states to a national level.
Christie said his interest in the issue comes from his pro-life stance.
"I believe in the sanctity of every life and I believe that every life is a gift from God. No life is disposable and the person who is addicted to heroin, opiotes and other drugs and their lives are falling apart, we have an obligation to save that life too. to give them a second chance. I think if you're pro life you need to be pro life for the whole life," he said.
The task force is a part of the White House' newly announced White House Office of American Innovation, headed by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. During Monday night's "Ask the Governor," Christie would not confirm the appointment because, he said, he didn't want to "jump" any announcement from Trump.
Christie said called tensions between him and Kushner "ancient history" during his interview with ABC's Good Morning America, and said they have worked "incredibly well on this issue."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.