ICYMI: Democratic AGs Meet with Vice President Harris to Discuss Actions Addressing Fentanyl Crisis
July 19, 2023
VP: “No one more equipped” to handle crisis than Dem AGs
Washington, DC — Yesterday, eight Democratic Attorneys General joined Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House to discuss actions to address the fentanyl public health crisis. Together, they discussed the unique role that Attorneys General play in curbing the trafficking of fentanyl, as well as the importance of addressing fentanyl use as a public health crisis. AGs in attendance included Nevada AG Aaron Ford, Delaware AG Kathy Jennings, Pennsylvania AG Michelle Henry, New York AG Letitia James, Arizona AG Kris Mayes, Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, Washington D.C. AG Brian Schwalb, and North Carolina AG Josh Stein.
Spectrum News reported on the meeting where AG Stein shared, “‘It’s gonna take all hands on deck to turn the tide…So we need local, state and federal government working together to make a difference.’”
Spectrum New continued, “The vice president, a former California attorney general, said it often comes down to ‘following the money.’ ‘That means looking, for example, at the people who are financing these operations. That means looking, for example, at the brokers, because we are talking about highly sophisticated criminal enterprises,’ Harris said. ‘And I can think of no one more equipped at the state level, and in our country, than state attorneys general to do this kind of work.’”
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta moderated the discussion, and they were joined by White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez. The roundtable followed actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to tackle the opioid and overdose epidemic, including releasing a National Response Plan to address the emerging threat of fentanyl combined with xylazine, a non-opioid that is involved in 1 of 9 overdoses. The Vice President also announced nearly $50 million in grants to help address different facets of the nation’s overdose epidemic will be awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The Vice President thanked the state Attorneys General for their leadership and critical partnership in expanding substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services in their states. She spoke about the Administration’s historic investments to drive down overdoses, and progress made over the past two years to crack down on fentanyl trafficking and expand access to care.
Democratic AGs are working on the frontlines of the fentanyl public health crisis. By holding opioid manufacturers accountable, investing billions in settlement funds back into hard-hit communities across the United States, and working to expand access to health care so that people struggling can get the help they need, Democratic AGs are committed to fighting the fentanyl public health crisis and making our communities safer.