A White House commission tasked with finding ways to combat and treat the country’s growing opioid addiction strongly recommended earlier this monththat President Donald Trump declare a national emergency to battle the issue.

But when addressing the nationwide epidemic Tuesday, Trump stopped short of doing that.

“The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control,” the commission said in its report. “Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also told reporters Tuesday that while President Donald Trump “certainly believes that we will treat it as an emergency,” it doesn’t need to officially be declared.

The opioid crisis “can be addressed without that declaration of a national emergency,” Price said.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 91 Americans die daily from opioid-involved deaths – and a recent study by Dr. Christopher Ruhm suggests that opioid-related deaths are severely underreported.

Usually, it would be up to Price in his role as HHS secretary to declare a national public health emergency. But Trump could declare a federal emergency because of provisions set with the Stafford Act.

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Should the administration eventually decide to follow through with the commission’s request to declare a national emergency, here’s what it could mean.

Access to greater funding  

The commission predicted that an emergency declaration would persuade lawmakers to allocate more funding to combat opioid addiction.

“People are talking about this more and more, but if the president were to declare this a national emergency, it creates recognition around the country and awareness around the country that this epidemic needs right now.”

“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life,” the commission said in its report.

But a federal declaration would also allow the government to dip into certain funds, possibly including those appropriated to the Public Health Emergency Fund.

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Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Shatterproof, argued that more funding is needed in order to properly combat the opioid epidemic.

“It gives the president and Congress expedited ways to fund what needs to be funded to save the lives of so many every day and mobilizes the Cabinet to attack this issue,” Mendell told Fox News.

Keith Humphreys, an addiction specialist at Stanford University, told the Washington Post that a federal declaration would open up monetary resources to states from the federal Disaster Relief Fund, “just like they could if they had a tornado or hurricane.”

Create more attention about the issue

Officially declaring an emergency would bring more attention to the health crisis, the commission said.

“It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will,” the commission said. “You, Mr. President, are the only person who can bring this type of intensity to the emergency, and we believe you have the will to do so and to do so immediately.”

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Mendell agreed, saying that the crisis needs more “attention and awareness.”

“People are talking about this more and more, but if the president were to declare this a national emergency, it creates recognition around the country and awareness around the country that this epidemic needs right now,” he said.

Combat stigma associated with addiction

When asked why an emergency hasn’t already been declared, Mendell blamed the stigma associated with addiction and mental illness.

But a federal declaration of emergency could help change that negative stigma, Mendell said.