WMUR-TV Presses White House on Opioid Crisis

On only the third day of the White House's new policy of including "Skype" seats in the daily briefing as a way to expand access beyond the White House press corps, WMUR-TV got the first "Skype" question, and it was on an issue broadcasters have made central to their public interest mission: Opioid abuse.

WMUR-TV Manchester, N.H., anchor and political director Josh McElveen pointed out to White House press secretary Sean Spicer that the top health and safety threat to the state was heroin and opioid abuse.

McElveen said that the President had promised to be "swift and aggressive" in addressing the problem of drugs coming across the border, but he said increasingly the problem was synthetic drugs being cooked up in the U.S.

He asked what was being done about that, as well as about treatment of addiction.

Spicer called the opioid crisis a major problem not just for New Hampshire but nationwide. He did not address the health issue or synthetics, but instead turned the answer to border issues "through the southern border," saying that stemming that flow was part of his immigration and wall-building strategies.

He conceded the health component as well as the border component, and said that when the President's HHS nominee Tom Price is confirmed there will be a "multi-government approach that needs to be taken to the opioid crisis."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.