WASHINGTON (WTXF/AP) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charity has announced a $50 million donation to help fight the nation's opioid epidemic.
Bloomberg Philanthropies says over the next three years it'll help up to 10 states address the causes of opioid addiction and strengthen prevention and treatment programs. Its initiative involves a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Johns Hopkins University and Vital Strategies.
Pennsylvania, which nearly doubles the national average in drug-related deaths, has been chosen as the launching point for their efforts. More than 5,400 drug-related overdose deaths were reported in Pennsylvania in 2017.
Bloomberg is expected to discuss the funding Friday during his keynote address at The Bloomberg American Health Summit in Washington. Friday morning, Bloomberg and Governor Tom Wolf appeared on FOX 29's Good Day Philadelphia to talk more about their plans.
Bloomberg's charity says CDC data shows there were 70,000 U.S. drug overdose deaths last year, including 47,000 from opioids, the highest numbers recorded. It says those numbers are a leading factor in the decline of U.S. life expectancy over the past three years.