Brunswick Beacon, 02.24.22
As a retired registered nurse, I was appalled by Congressman David Rouzer’s Feb. 12 newsletter. It’s misleading, fails to address our fentanyl problem, and repeats a nonsensical attack on President Biden who, he claims, is making it easier for drug cartels to bring fentanyl into the country. His proof? “More counterfeit pills have been seized so far in 2021 than the previous two years combined.”
Factcheck.org calls that misleading: “Why is seizing more fentanyl an indictment of border security, rather than a sign that border security is working as intended?” They add: “The steep rise started in mid-2020 under then-President Donald Trump. It’s a problem that Biden largely inherited.” Newsweek agrees: “The fentanyl surge started and peaked under Trump.”
It was so bad under Trump that North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein called for fentanyl to be classified as a Schedule I drug, so law enforcement could target it more effectively. NC’s law, drafted by Stein and signed by Gov. Cooper (both Democrats), already does that. Trump only made the federal classification temporary, expiring on May 6, 2021.
Biden extended it and asked Congress to make it permanent as part of his comprehensive plan to treat fentanyl as both a law enforcement and public health issue. Biden’s American Rescue Plan included $4 Billion to expand fentanyl abuse services. Every Republican, including Rouzer, voted against it!
Congressional Democrats extended fentanyl’s Schedule I classification twice while they finalize their STOP Fentanyl Act. Rouzer voted against the extension both times, most recently on Feb. 8, just four days before his misleading newsletter.
Rouzer’s only interest is playing political games. He didn’t even care enough to cosign a Feb. 10 letter from 116 Republicans urging Biden to “continue to support making fentanyl Schedule I classification permanent.” That’s just the latest in Rouzer’s string of fentanyl failures.
Linda M. Baker