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‘He got me hook, line and sinker’: Trump voters struggling with opioid crisis realize they were duped

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An upstate New York man who sold many of his possessions last year to fund a months-long tour playing music at Trump rallies now regrets his vote for the Republican candidate.

“I had everything riding on the fact that he was going to make things better,” Kraig Moss told the Associated Press. “He lied to me.”

Then-candidate Donald Trump looked Moss in the eye at one rally in Iowa and told the grieving father he would help end the drug epidemic that had claimed his 24-year-old son, whose ashes accompanied the truck driver to 45 rallies.

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“He promised me, in honor of my son, that he was going to combat the ongoing heroin epidemic,” Moss said. “He got me hook, line and sinker.”

Post-election analyses found that Trump over-performed in Rust Belt counties ravaged by public health crises — such as drug and alcohol addiction and suicide — but the president’s budget released this week slashes funding for addiction treatment, research and prevention.

Medicaid funding would shrivel under Trump’s 10-year plan, which could devastate coverage to an estimated three in 10 adults addicted to opioids.

Although Congress is unlikely to approve Trump’s budget as written, the GOP-led House passed a health care bill that would dramatically reduce Medicaid coverage and let states weaken requirements for covering addiction treatment.

Patient costs for substance abuse services could jump by thousands of dollars a year in those states, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

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Trump promised during the campaign and after his election to help families suffering from the opioid epidemic — but his voters feel betrayed by the president’s focus on tax cuts, military spending and border security.

“I didn’t see this coming,” said Paul Kusiak, of Massachusetts, who told Trump the candidate about his sons’ successful battles with addiction. “I’m trying desperately to have hope and take the president at his word.”

Trump told voters about his own father’s struggle with alcoholism, and they trusted he would help their own families.

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“I believed that he had learned something new and was going to do something about it,” said Patty McCarthy Metcalf, who leads the advocacy group Faces and Voices of Recovery. “He’s let us down.”

Trump has asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead a task force on opioid addiction, under the direction of his son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, but his budget and other proposed cuts has worried many supporters.

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“Inside I’m screaming,” said Sandra Chavez, of Sacramento, whose son died from an infection related to drug use. “We’re going backward with Donald Trump’s plan.”

Trump has proposed cutting funds for addiction research, prevention programs, drug courts and prescription drug monitoring, as well as eliminating support for training of addiction professional.

Justin Butler, a 36-year-old Trump voter from Cleveland, fears he will be back on the streets, using drugs and selling them, if Medicaid stops paying for addiction treatment.

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“He’s turning his back on people,” Butler said. “He’s a liar.”


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World virus cases top 6 million as leaders disagree on pandemic response

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The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped six million Sunday, with Brazil registering another record surge in daily infections as divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic.

Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.

In Brazil -- the epicenter of South America's outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases, lagging only behind the United States -- disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus as the number of fatalities in the country nears 30,000.

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Curfews and clashes as police brutality protests escalate

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Curfews were imposed on major US cities as clashes over police brutality erupted across America with demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop the violent protests "cold."

Minneapolis, the epicenter of the unrest, was gripped by a fifth consecutive night of violence on Saturday with police in riot gear firing tear gas and stun grenades at protesters venting fury at the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in the city on Monday.

Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta were among two dozen cities ordering people to stay indoors overnight as more states called in National Guard soldiers to help control the civil unrest not seen in the United States for years.

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2020 Election

‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters

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As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw

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