Gov. Baker ready to fight nation’s opioid addiction crisis alongside President Trump

BOSTON (WHDH) - After speaking at a biotech conference in Cambridge, Gov. Charlie Baker told 7’s Sharman Sacchetti that when it comes to the opioid crisis, he wants to bring what his administration has done in Massachusetts to a national level.

“I view it as hopefully an opportunity to put on the national stage some of the solutions that I believe we’ve been pursuing here in Massachusetts,” Baker said.

Baker will serve on President Donald Trump’s commission to tackle the country’s opioid addiction crisis.

Baker learned about the opportunity from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime ally, who Trump tapped to lead the commission.

“The call I got was originally from Gov. Christie in New Jersey. He and I have talked about opioids and addiction generally a lot over the course of the past several years,” Baker said.

Baker has made the opioid crisis a major focus of his administration. Last year, he signed into law sweeping changes.

Those changes included limiting painkillers to a seven day supply, setting an evaluation requirement within 24 hours for overdose victims seeking help in emergency rooms and allowing patients the ability to fill only part of their painkiller prescriptions at a time.

But Baker has long tried to distance himself from some of Trump’s comments and policies. He has said publicly that he didn’t vote for Trump.

Joining Trump’s commission marks the first time that the governor can be linked to the administration. Baker said he was not worried when asked if he was concerned about being tied to Trump.

“I think this issue, the opioid epidemic, is something that certainly here in Massachusetts and I believe the rest of the country, is not a partisan issue,” Baker said.

The commission will release a full opioid report later in the year. Recommendations will be presented within 90 days.

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