175 people a day are dying of overdoses and Trump has put Kellyanne ‘Alternative Facts’ Conway in charge. Conway, a political analyst and pollster with no experience in public health, substance abuse, or law enforcement is running the opioid crisis planning. Experts say Conway’s plan is ill conceived; a two tier “just say no” campaign, which was supposed to begin during the super bowl, and reliance on building the border wall. Neither tactic addresses the root causes of the epidemic, people getting hooked on legally prescribed painkillers.
Trump has spoken pretty words about the human toll the opioid epidemic has taken, but his actions tell a different story. Trump has proposed massive cuts to the drugs czar’s office and still hasn’t named anyone to lead it. Until recently the top ranking employee was a 24-year-old with no qualifications listed on his fudged resume, a position he would’ve continued to hold if it wasn’t uncovered in this Washington Post story.
Conway has closed out the experts from her policy meetings, instead inviting political appointees to weigh in. Twenty year experts from the Office of National Drug Control Policy aren’t consulted, and are left in the dark. Conway’s very role in this crisis leaves legislators with concern and confusion. “I haven’t talked to Kellyanne at all and I’m from the worst state for this,” said West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito. Her state is dealing with the highest overdose death rate in the Nation, and she can’t get Kellyanne Conway’s ear.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca