Yesterday the Washington Post reported that major potential Republican 2024 candidates, including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, are spreading dangerous and racist lies about the Biden administration’s plan to send federal grants for local programs that provide harm reduction tools for those suffering from substance abuse disorders.
While these 2024 presidential primary hopefuls have used this opportunity to spin their biggoted talking points, here are the facts they are failing to spin in their favor: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would send money over three years for a pre-approved list of resources, including “safe smoking kits” that include a rubber mouthpiece to prevent cuts and burns, brass screens to filter contaminants and disinfectant wipes.
Over 100,000 Americans die every year due to substance abuse disorders. The Biden Administration is working to save their lives – something Donald Trump promised, but refused to do. Every Republican running for office has campaigned on solving the opioid crises, but they now turn around and spread harmful misinformation that villianizes and dehumanizes drug addicts. The callous way these 2024 presidential candidates talk about addiction is cruel and disgusting, considering how many Americans this epidemic has affected.
The Washington Post: No, the federal government isn’t spending $30 million on ‘crack pipes’
By Meryl Kornfield and Mariana Alfaro | February 9, 2022
- “Conservative figures have launched an online furor this week, claiming that the government planned to spend $30 million on pipes for smoking crack cocaine.”
- “Republicans seized on ‘crack pipes,’ causing the phrase to trend on Twitter on Tuesday, the latest in continued resistance from the GOP against harm-reduction techniques at a time when people are dying of drug overdoses at record rates in the United States.”
- “‘HHS and ONDCP are focused on using our resources smartly to reduce harm and save lives. Accordingly, no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits’ HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta said in a statement. ‘The goal of harm reduction is to save lives.’”
- “White House press secretary Jen Psaki also on Wednesday dismissed a report as ‘inaccurate’ from the conservative outlet Washington Free Beacon that an HHS spokesperson said the White House would be distributing crack pipes.”
- “The funding is ‘a historic moment’ in drug policy as most harm reduction programs have been otherwise ineligible for federal funding in years past, according to Sheila Vakharia, an expert at the Drug Policy Alliance…”
- “Republican lawmakers and online talking heads painted an absurd image of government-issued crack pipes being mailed to each American like coronavirus tests, alleging that language that said the money would be awarded to underserved communities meant the federal government would target Black people.”
Read the full story here.