As predicted, Trump continues to blame China for the opioid crisis. Rather than crack down on Big Pharma, he is challenging Chinese leaders to “do something” about it. That’s right. He’s not going after the pharmaceutical companies. Even though they manufacture the opioid medications responsible for over half the overdose deaths each year. Instead, Trump is playing the blame game with President Xi Jinping.
According to a report from the New York Times, President Trump landed in Beijing earlier this month to pressure China to stop “cheap and deadly” fentanyl from being distributed on U.S. soil.
Trump told the press that, “President Xi and I discussed ways we can enhance coordination to better counter the deadly drug trade and to stop the lethal flow of poisonous drugs into our countries and into our communities.”
But China doesn’t believe that its illegal drug trade is responsible for killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.
In fact, it was just days ago that drug officials with the Ministry of Public Health came out against Trump’s claims. They said that “based on intelligence and evidence shared,” there is no reason to believe that China is supplying the U.S. black market with all of it dangerous fentanyl.
However, Wei Xiaojun, who runs the narcotics control bureau within the agency, admitted, “there’s truth” in the claims. Americans are getting their hands on fentanyl produced in China.
President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency just weeks ago. Now he says “a special emphasis will be placed on the new phenomena: fentanyl—destroying lives by the millions.
“We’re going to be focusing on it very strongly,” Trump said.
The Opioid Crisis
It is true that fentanyl is causing a veritable shitstorm all across the United States.
Reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that it is partly responsible for the 540 percent increase in drug-related deaths since 2014. But what about the rabid elephant in the room—prescription painkillers?
President Trump put the nation on high alert over the opioid crisis back in October. And he made it sound as though the situation was exclusively the fault of the illicit drug trade. He preached that “every person who buys illicit drugs here in America should know that they are risking their futures, their families and even their lives.” And said that his wall would stop the flow of heroin coming in from “south of the border.”
Never once did he attach any of the blame to the pharmaceutical industry, which, according to the latest statistics, stands to enjoy a $17 billion “opioid market” by 2021.
As it stands, 92 million adults in the U.S. (almost 40 percent of the population) are taking opioids like OxyContin and Percocet. These medications are responsible for killing more than half of the approximately 64,000 people who died in 2016 as a result of an opioid overdose.
Yet this aspect of the opioid problem has, so far, failed to garner any of Trump’s attention.
There is even evidence showing that some of the drug makers behind these popular medications have been providing doctors with kickbacks in exchange for liberally doling out these dangerous drugs to their patients. Experts say that “overprescribing” is largely responsible for supplying the black market. To put it into numbers, there are 200 million opioid prescriptions written each year. And yet, Trump continues to blame China for the opioid crisis.
Final Hit: Trump Continues To Blame China For Opioid Crisis
President Trump made no mention of Big Pharma’s shady practices when telling the nation not to mess with opioids. He just said there is “nothing desirable about drugs… they are bad.”
We feel a good leader would have at least mentioned to the American people that drugs like OxyContin and Percocet are the same as taking heroin.
And we’re not alone.
Recently, Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt said, “Trump’s failure to mention Big Pharma is like attacking gambling and extortion rackets without mentioning the Mafia.” He went on to say that while “the President’s plan will address all of the symptoms” of the opioid problem, it will not tackle “the root cause,” which he says is “Big Pharma’s greed and deception.”
Trump continues to blame China for the opioid crisis. But reports show that Chinese officials have taken steps to crack down on the production and distribution of dangerous drugs, including fentanyl. This, along with other illusionary successes, such as the record-breaking National Drug Take-Back Day, for which Trump rejoiced in a Twitter post, “We can do this!” will do very little to cut into the problem.