Fentanyl deaths have doubled in two years, and black men are seeing the biggest increases in drug overdoses. So why isn’t Vice President Kamala Harris doing something about the illicit drugs coming into the country through the southern border?
When the Biden administration assumed power, it promised us that Harris, who is of black and South Asian descent, was a new type of revolutionary champion for people of color, especially black Americans. And the president put her in charge of one of the country’s biggest crises (albeit one of his own making), as record numbers of illegal immigrants and drug traffickers have swamped the southern border.
It’s clear she’s failing — and with deadly consequences.
Shockingly, Harris doesn’t seem jolted by the fact that fentanyl overdoses are the top cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45 — more deadly than car accidents, cancer and suicide. Drug overdoses are also more fatal in this prime age group than COVID-19.
While the Biden administration continues to push ineffective policies and COVID fearmongering, people are dying in isolation and desperation from drug overdoses.
Harris would rather send “safe-smoking kits” to Americans to “promote racial equity” than stop foreigners from smuggling deadly drugs over the border.
Harris’ focus on Central and Latin America to supposedly attack the “root causes” of illegal immigration makes it clear this deeply unpopular vice president would rather build the economies of foreign lands than save the US citizens she’s sworn to protect. The White House’s “Root Causes Strategy” July announcement makes only glancing mention of “dialogue” to fight drug trafficking. Her “strategy” hasn’t yielded any results, either: Illegal border crossings mushrooming to record levels, with 1.9 million migrant arrests at the southern border last year.
Many of the illicit drugs trafficked from the south, especially fentanyl, originate in Communist China. Harris’ apathy and ineptitude haven’t stopped dealers from funneling these drugs across our border and killing US citizens.
US drug overdose deaths overall topped 100,000 for the first time last year. More than 1.2 million more people across North America will die of opioid overdoses by 2029 if we don’t take bold action, projects a new study by the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis.
“This is a national emergency. America’s young adults — thousands of unsuspecting Americans — are being poisoned,” James Rauh, founder of Families Against Fentanyl, told the press while releasing new data that shows the number of fentanyl deaths in the US doubled in just two years to over 64,000 deaths.
Some groups are seeing bigger increases than others. “While overdose death rates have increased in every major demographic group in recent years, no group has seen a bigger increase than Black men,” Pew Research Center reported last month. “As a result, Black men have overtaken White men and are now on par with American Indian or Alaska Native men as the demographic groups most likely to die from overdoses.”
Pew also notes women are less likely to die of overdoses than men, but death rates “have risen sharply among women, too, especially Black women. The overdose fatality rate among Black women rose 144% between 2015 and 2020, far outpacing the percentage increases among women in every other racial or ethnic group during the same period.”
Sure, Harris doesn’t shoulder all the blame, since decades of failed border control contribute to more drug deaths. The Council on Foreign Relations reports most heroin coming into the United States is cultivated on poppy farms in Mexico, with several major cartels controlling production and operating distribution hubs in major US cities. Mexican cartels, which the Drug Enforcement Administration calls the “greatest drug-trafficking threat to the United States,” typically smuggle narcotics across the US southwest border.
Instead of taking action to fight this scourge, Harris’ Democratic House colleagues this month blocked the HALT Fentanyl Act, a bill that would make the emergency class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent. Right now, that order’s slated to expire Feb. 18 — which will severely weaken law enforcement’s ability to prosecute fentanyl traffickers.
Before and during COVID, the Trump administration oversaw a powerful, national conversation surrounding the opioid crisis in America and the importance of securing our border.
Unfortunately, under Harris’ watch, the current administration’s approach prioritizes economic development in other countries over the lives of US citizens.
It’s no wonder Harris’ approval ratings have tanked. Liberal activists and their media allies promised us a compassionate, innovative reformer when America shattered the glass ceiling and made Harris our first female vice president. We’ve gotten anything but that as drug deaths continue to climb.
Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.