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BUSTED: Leaked drug exec emails showed them encouraging opioid abuse to the point people would eat them ‘like Doritos’

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On Friday, the Washington Post published excerpts from a damning series of emails released in a landmark case in Cleveland around the irresponsibility of drug manufacturers and suppliers in contributing to the opioid crisis.

In one email exchange, Victor Borelli, an account manager for pharmaceuticals corporation Mallinckrodt, told KeySource Medical vice president Steve Cochrane that 1,200 bottles of 30mg Oxycodone tablets had been shipped, to which Cochrane replied, “Keep ’em comin’! Flyin’ out of there. It’s like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are…” and Borelli responded, “Just like Doritos keep eating. We’ll make more.”

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In another exchange, David Gustin, the regulatory director at pharmaceutical distributor McKesson, told colleagues he was upset about the “number of accounts we have that have large gaps between the amount of Oxy or Hydro they are allowed to buy (their threshold) and the amount they really need … This increases the ‘opportunity’ for diversion by exposing more product for introduction into the pipeline than may be being used for legitimate purposes.”

McKesson officials deny that Gustin’s statement is in any way evidence they acted irresponsibly. Nonetheless, these exchanges are in line with accusations that these businesses were too busy flooding the market with powerful prescription painkillers to be concerned that much of it was unnecessary and could be diverted into black markets.

Tens of thousands of people are dying per year from the opioid epidemic — some 47,000 from overdoses in 2017 alone. The most recent numbers suggest that prescription opioid deaths are finally declining — but fentanyl overdoses are on the rise.


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Ex-Homeland Security adviser reveals to The View another Trump coronavirus failure no one’s talking about

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Tom Bossert, a former Homeland Security adviser to President Donald Trump, identified one failure of leadership that has mostly escaped notice during the coronavirus outbreak.

Governors have begged the president to order the manufacture of ventilators and other medical equipment under the Defense Production Act, which Trump has already invoked, but Bossert said he must also anticipate another need to eventually end the pandemic.

"This is a massive, complicated logistics challenge at this point, and, you know, Gov. [Gavin] Newsom and others will tell you that it's not just about large-scale purchasing," Bossert said. "It's about deciding who needs it and whose priority should trump others because this is a scarcity of resource problem at this point. We're kind of past what we would have, could have and should have done, and we're making decisions about who gets what when and why. That's the trick."

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GOP campaign vet rakes ‘Princeling’ Jared Kushner over the coals for disastrous COVID-19 leadership

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A veteran Republican campaign official is raking Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner over the coals for taking on a major role in the White House coronavirus task force despite being totally unqualified for the position.

Attorney Lloyd Green, who served as opposition research counsel to George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign and then worked at the Department of Justice in the early '90s, writes in The Guardian that Kushner's presence on the task force is literally putting more Americans at risk.

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Trump tells aides he can’t forgive Pelosi for impeachment humiliation as their broken relationship threatens COVID-19 response: report

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Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi haven't spoken in five months, and some are worrying if their dysfunctional relationship is hindering the federal government's ability to combat the growing coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from the Associated Press.

Trump is angry about the House's impeachment effort against him, and even unifying effect of a disease outbreak isn't thawing the ice between the two. "Trump and Pelosi communicated with — or at — each other via Twitter and television or through intermediaries the other side could tolerate," writes the Associated Press. "Chief among them has been Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who personally negotiated the three rescue bills passed so far. When Trump signed the package at the White House, he did not invite Pelosi or any other Democrats to join him."

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