Amid Other Health Scuffles, Dem Candidates Agree That Drug Companies Should Be Held Accountable For Opioid Crisis
The debate took place in Ohio, a state that's been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. The candidates were asked about their stance on the issue ahead of a nationwide trial that is set to kick off in the state next week.
Democratic Debate Candidates: We Should Lock Up Opioid Executives
At Tuesday’s Democratic debate, several presidential candidates agreed on one point: The pharmaceutical executives who helped create the opioid epidemic should go to prison. Asked directly whether opioid executives should be locked up, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said: "I am. And I will tell you as a former prosecutor, I do think of this as being a matter of justice and accountability because they are nothing more than some high-level dope dealers. They should be held accountable. This is a matter of justice." (Lopez, 10/15)
Democratic Debate: Fact-Checking What The Candidates Said About Ohio.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar talked about Ohio’s opioid crisis: “The state of Ohio has been hit by the opioid epidemic. We need to take on these pharmaceutical companies and make them pay.” Ohio has one of the highest rates of fatal drug overdoses in the nation. Opioids, heroin and fentanyl have ravaged the state for years. (Balmert and Borchardt, 10/15)
Beto Promotes Legalized Marijuana During Democratic Debate
During a discussion about solutions to the opioid crisis during last night’s Democratic primary debate, Beto O’Rourke suggested that when pharmaceutical companies go low, we should get high. The former congressman from El Paso said a veteran he once met wouldn’t have gotten addicted to heroin if the veteran had been prescribed marijuana instead of opioids for his health condition. “Now imagine that veteran, instead of being prescribed an opioid, had been prescribed marijuana, because we made that legal in America [and] ensured the VA could prescribe it,” O’Rourke said. (Khazan ,10/16)
In other health news from the debate, Sanders addressed the homeless crisis —
The Washington Post:
Fact Check Of The 4th Democratic Debate
“You have half a million people sleeping out on the street today.” –Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) The way Sanders frames this is exaggerated. Sanders’s number come from a single-night survey done by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to measure the number of homeless people. For a single night in January 2018, the estimate was 553,000 people are homeless. But the report also says that two-thirds — nearly 360,000 — were in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs; the other 195,000 were “unsheltered” — i.e., on the street, as Sanders put it. The number has also been trending down over the past decade; it was 650,000 in 2007. (Kessler, Rizzo and Kelly, 10/15)
Fact-Checking The October Democratic Debate
However, Sanders’s language exaggerated the survey’s findings. The report found that about two-thirds of homeless people in the U.S. were staying in sheltered locations like emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. About one-third were actually sleeping on the street. (Carlisle, Abrams and Vesoulis, 10/16)