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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.
 

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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

Republican Medicine

Oct. 16, 2017 2:22 pm
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Opioid-related deaths in America’s current drug epidemic exceed 200,000 lives and continue to rise. What’s the cause of this national disaster, taking the lives of more than three times the number of U.S. military personnel lost in the Vietnam War?

As 60 Minutes and the Washington Post have reported, this is a man-made disaster.

Who’s to blame?

It turns out that a big portion of the blame rests with our very own U.S. Congress and their cozy relationship with the drug industry. Behind-the-scenes lobbying and millions of dollars of campaign contributions greased the skids and persuaded lawmakers to abdicate their responsibilities to protect and defend their constituents. Instead, they opted to protect their own seats and political careers in Congress at the expense of their constituents, who were dropping like flies.

This is nowhere more true than in the case of Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican and an early supporter of Donald Trump. Marino’s rural 10th Congressional District in the Keystone State has been hard hit by the opioid epidemic.

So you’d expect Marino to be in the vanguard of lawmakers fighting for his constituents and trying to battle the crisis. But you would be wrong.

At the height of the opioid crisis, Marino did the bidding of the drug industry, working to strip the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most powerful legal weapons against big drug companies spreading prescription narcotics on America’s streets.

Marino’s legislation weakened DEA enforcement of efforts to stop corrupt doctors and pharmacists from pushing millions of these powerful pain pills on the black market. The big drug companies and their distributors like to see America blanketed with pills because they make truly monumental amounts of money as a result.

You can read about it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/investigations/dea-drug-industry-congress/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.288369d2d3d8

Or watch the 60 Minutes program here: https://www.cbsnews.com/60-minutes/

Now, in the loopy, fox-guarding-the-henhouse world of the Trump Administration, guess who’s Trump’s nominee to be the next White House drug czar?

You may already be accustomed to the through-the-looking-glass aspect of Trump appointments, but if you haven’t already guessed — wait for it! — it’s none other than Tom Marino.

In Trumpworld, I guess a drug czar is someone who helps people get more deadly drugs.

Yes, as unbelievable as it seems, it’s a Republican and hardcore supporter of Trump who is totally bought and paid for by the drug industry — who’s completely in the pocket of big pharma — who is Trump's choice to be the next drug czar.

Evil? Disgusting? It can hardly get much worse than this.

Given the excruciating suffering and hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths caused by the opioid epidemic, both for the addicts and their families and communities, I’m thinking there must be a very special, very hot place in hell for a politician who for his own selfish reasons promotes addiction and is complicit in maintaining this crisis so that the drug industry can reap billions of dollars in profits.

 
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