Watch Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions Callously Mock Chronic Pain Sufferers
Last October, President Donald Trump declared an opioids emergency. In January, he extended that designation which was due to expire. Trump offered his trademark tough talk and plenty of promises. No money, though. And no firm policies. Mostly “thoughts and prayers” sort of lip service, similar to that delivered after a mass shooting incident. During an address in Tampa, Attorney Jeff Sessions spoke on the opioid issue devastating America. He finally offered the solution Donald Trump has been promising since the campaign trail.
“I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids. I mean, people need to take some aspirins sometimes and tough it out a little.”
Yes, aspirins. For cancer pain. And chronic pain. No, he was not joking. Sessions previously declared the Justice Department opposed to medical marijuana for chronic pain as well.
like immigration and crime, sessions woefully ignorant on opioids
Earlier this week, Politico reported that President Donald Trump’s war on drugs is quickly devolving into a war on drug policy. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has lacked a permanent director during Trump’s administration. Most recently, it was temporarily headed by Taylor Weyeneth. Weyeneth is a 24-year old recent college graduate who worked on Trump’s campaign. He has no relevant experience. Other than the Trump campaign, he has no work experience at all. When the ONDCP was asked for comment by the Washington Post, the reply was that the OCNDP hired Weyeneth last March “after seeing his passion and commitment on the issue of opioids and drug addiction.” The official and Weyeneth’s mother both said Weyeneth was moved by the death of a relative several years ago from a heroin overdose. That is what qualifies someone for a Deputy Director position in a federal agency under President Trump? A passion for the issue and a good word from one’s mommy?
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Politico goes on to report that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has become the de-facto Director, taking control of the opioids agenda. Like most Trump department heads, this means her primary role at ONCDP is to squeeze out actual drug and drug policy professionals. Who needs those when politicians and their staffers can make policy just as well? Look how well that is working with climate change. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt ignored all those pesky scientists and decided that climate change might be a good thing! After all, it is not like a hundred people every day are dying from opioid overdoses. Oh, they are? I guess “just say no” is not working either?
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Bob Twillman, Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management called Sessions’ recommendation woefully ignorant about what it is like dealing with chronic pain.
“That remark reflects a failure to recognize the severity of pain of some patients. It’s an unconscionable remark. It further illustrates how out of touch parts of the administration are with opioids and pain management.”
Watch Sessions snark his way through the opioid address below.
Featured Image Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
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Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.