Representative David McKinley (WV-1) plays with the fentanyl numbers
What do McKinley’s statistics prove? He would have us believe that since the number of border seizures has increased over a similar period in previous years, America's fentanyl problem has gotten worse under the Biden administration. Possibly, but there are other conclusions that can be drawn from these same statistics – most notably that since the number of arrests are up, the Biden administration is doing a better job than the Trump administration of catching drug smugglers.
Another problem with McKinley's statistics is the comparison periods. McKinley uses the previous five months and compares them with the same months in previous years. Okay, but what if the number of cases started rising in 2020 and peaked when Biden took office? What if we compare Biden's first five months to the previous five months when Trump was president? Here, reporter Erin Beck has already done the math:
Nice try, Congressman, but I don't think you've proven your case.
West Virginia’s AG Patrick Morrisey: WV’s fentanyl overdoses were up 58% in 2020 so let’s sue the Biden administration
From the front page of yesterday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail:
Ahead of the release of a report that said overdoses jumped 58% in West Virginia last year, West Virginia’s attorney general said legal action against the Biden administration could be forthcoming if it does not better address an uptick of fentanyl overdoses.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey made the statement at the state Capitol Complex on Tuesday while updating media about state opioid litigation.
The federal government released a report Wednesday that said opioid overdoses soared to a record 93,000 in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, marking a 29% increase. It is an average of 250 deaths a day, or about 11 an hour. A total of 1,377 West Virginians died due to overdoses in 2020, a 49.3% increase from 2019.
So, according to Morrisey, WV should sue the Biden administration if the number of fentanyl overdoses deaths, which rose dramatically in the last year of the Trump presidency, doesn't immediately go down? (Maybe it's just me, but aren't there better things for an AG to be doing other than bringing lawsuits that aren't going anywhere against Democratic presidents.)
Despite its rhetoric, the Trump administration did little to tackle the opioid problem. However, the last administration's lack of action will do little to deter Republicans like McKinley and Morrisey from doing whatever is necessary (with or without evidence) to switch the blame to the Biden administration.