Here's an amazing statistic: drug overdoses now kill more Americans than guns.
Overall, overdose deaths rose 11 percent last year, to 52,404. By comparison, the number of people who died in car crashes was 37,757, an increase of 12 percent. Gun deaths, including homicides and suicides, totaled 36,252, up 7 percent.
Joe Manchin is alarmed, and not just because the national statistics are bad, He's alarmed by some amazing reporting by the Charleston Gazette-Mail that we posted yesterday. Manchin's state of West Virginia has the highest death rate from opioid overdose in the nation.
And it turns out the blind greed of big pharma is helping to kill his constituents. And CNN notes his hands aren't clean:
Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch, is the CEO of Mylan, which produces opioids. His campaign committee also has received about $180,000 in donations from the pharmaceuticals/health products industry between 2011-2016, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that keeps track of money in politics.
So how does Manchin (who is the fakest Democrat in the Senate by the way)
...plan to address the killer putting a spotlight on his state and his record?
A new War on Drugs! And let's blame marijuana!
Because of all those massive opioid deaths in pot-legal Colorado, Senator? Because that's not happening.
JAKE TAPPER: What do you want president-elect Trump to do about this problem, sir?
SENATOR MANCHIN: We need to declare a war on illicit drugs. You talk to most addicts -- and I go to these spots and talk to the recovering addicts. we have got some places that are really having some success rates, Jake. most of them are run by reformed addicts. they got started out as a kid smoking occasional -- what we call recreational marijuana. from there it led into prescriptions, taking out of their parents or grandparents medicine cabinet and become a cool kid. Then it turned into where they were hooked. now heroin comes on. Now the fentanyl comes on. it's unbelievable. President Trump needs to say day one, we're not going to lose a generation. we're going to fight this and crack down on the FDA and crack down on the DEA and make sure we look at this. It's not a business model and we're not trying to protect a budget line for the pharmaceutical companies. It's out of hand. It's truly become -- you can look at the pills, and you've seen the thing -- the article Eric did on how many millions and millions and millions, hundreds of millions of pills have been sent to my state, of West Virginia, with only 1.8 million people.
TAPPER: It's incredible.
SENATOR MANCHIN: Jake, something is wrong. I agree.
The reaction to Senator Manchin's call to action has been less than enthusiastic:
"Cracking down on the DEA and FDA" means letting your funders lose stock price over this, Senator. We'll believe it when we see it.