Candidate Donald Trump routinely promised to defeat the opioid crisis, touting he would “help everybody” hurt by the epidemic.
In a recent editorial, The Boston Globe wrote, “No time for politics on Trump’s opioids committee” (Editorial, March 31). I agree.
Sadly, Trump’s political promises have turned into policies that rip treatment from nearly 3 million Americans and slash $5.5 billion in addiction treatment and mental health funding, all while falsely claiming an Obama-era funding increase as Trump’s own.
On Wednesday, Trump convened photographers and announced a commission to produce a report “on best practices on drug prevention.” Photos of politicians smiling were snapped and everyone went home. No action, no money for help, no plan — just politics.
The Globe is also right about this: I believe Trump is dangerous and duplicitous. I’ve taken every opportunity to hold him accountable — and when it comes to this epidemic, I will not back off.
I agree that we have to work with Republicans to solve this crisis. No one can better attest to my commitment than Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, my partner on a critical opioid bill, the Protecting Our Infants Act. I passed all of my opioid bills in collaboration with Republicans.
That doesn’t mean I won’t fight our nation’s top Republican when he threatens to harm our families. Fortunately, Americans refused to accept Trump’s health plan and gutting of addiction treatment. Had they heeded the Globe’s advice “to make the best of it,” we wouldn’t have defeated his disastrous plan.
Every day, we lose 91 people to opioids, and parents across Massachusetts are hoping today isn’t the day they get the call that their child has overdosed. They don’t need more photo ops from Washington, they need help.
The Globe posits that there’s a chance Trump’s commission will end up a charade. The families of Massachusetts don’t have time to wait and see.
Congresswoman Katherine Clark represents Massachusetts’ Fifth Congressional District.