FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808
MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATS CALL ON GOVERNOR TO RESIGN
FROM TRUMP’S INEFFECTIVE OPIOID COUNCIL
BOSTON – Today, Massachusetts Democrats called on Governor Charlie Baker to resign from President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which continues to dole out empty promises without a real agenda to combat a crisis that is ravaging communities across the state and nation.
“Last year, Massachusetts lost more people to the opioid crisis than we lost during the entire Vietnam War,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “Trump’s blustering, empty rhetoric and the inaction from the Commission are shameful. Once again, Trump is reneging on his promises and once again Charlie is giving him a pass. Members of the President’s commission are complicit in the Trump administration’s deceit. Governor Baker should resign from his post.”
The Trump Administration continues to demonstrate that it has no plan to move the nation forward and address the real issues facing Americans, like the opioid crisis. This latest announcement from the President proves that he’s unwilling to give the resources and funding needed to truly combat the crisis. Also, President Trump’s recent budget will cut $1 trillion from Medicaid, which over 1.8 million people in Massachusetts rely on. These cuts, combined with the President’s inaction to address the opioid crisis, will have a devastating impact on those struggling with addiction.
Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who has struggled with addiction himself and is a member of the Commission, recently blasted the Trump Administration, saying that he’s worried they won’t follow through and do what is necessary to respond to the opioid crisis. When asked to respond to Kennedy’s claims, Governor Baker praised the Trump Administration for the work of the opioid commission and said that it was serious about combatting this crisis.
Even with praise from Governor Baker and his Republican colleague and friend, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, members of Trump’s own administration, including the Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, admitted to Politico that they’ve been kept in the dark about Trump’s plans to address the opioid epidemic.
“Cracking down on the number of prescriptions and keeping addicts alive with multiple doses of Narcan is clearly not enough. The number of overdose deaths in Massachusetts have jumped 46 percent since Governor Baker took office,” continued Bickford. “It’s high time he put forth a strategic plan for addressing this issue – one that includes adequate funding for education and prevention — before we lose an entire generation to addiction.”
Trump to declare opioid crisis nationwide health emergency, The Associated Press: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/10/26/trump-direct-government-declare-opioid-crisis-nationwide-public-health-emergency/ObuJppXOhdwjkp1ixFXGCN/story.html
Medicaid Expansion Enrollment Data by State, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/medicaid-expansion-enrollment/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
Baker predicts “strong document” from opioid commission, State House News Service: http://www.statehousenews.com/email/a/20172173?key=534870
Senior health officials in the dark about Trump’s opioid declaration, Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/25/trump-opioid-declaration-drugs-244185