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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Thomas Gallatin / Dec. 22, 2020

San Francisco’s Greater Pandemic — Overdose Deaths

Maybe this explains why Nancy Pelosi flouted COVID restrictions to get her hair done.

In San Francisco, 621 people have died of drug overdoses this year, a total that is — astonishingly, if you’ve been following the mainstream media’s breathless pandemic coverage — triple the number of people who have died from COVID (173). However, the number of overdose deaths would likely be much higher but for the use of Narcan. As the Associated Press reports, “Last year, 441 people died of drug overdoses — a 70% increase from 2018 — and 2,610 potential overdoses were prevented by Narcan, a medication commonly sprayed up the nose to reverse an opioid overdose, according to data from the city Medical Examiner’s office and the DOPE Project.”

This data comparison may help explain why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saw little problem in breaking her region’s COVID restrictions to visit her favorite hair salon, or why Governor Gavin Newsom thought nothing of celebrating a birthday party at the swanky French Laundry. Obviously, gross hypocrisy is the primary cause, but neither Democrat is in danger of dying from the greater pandemic sweeping the nation, a pandemic that has been exacerbated to frightening degrees by the draconian response to COVID.

San Francisco, the district Nancy Pelosi has represented in Washington since 1987, serves as a microcosm of the spiking number of overdose deaths across the entire nation, as those numbers hit a record high this year. A recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that from June 2019 to May 2020, there were 81,230 deaths from drug overdoses. Significantly, the CDC notes that there was “a concerning acceleration of the increase in drug overdose deaths, with the largest recorded from March 2020 to May 2020, coinciding with the implementation of widespread mitigation measures for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Mitigation,” they call it.

And those numbers only include the first few months of COVID restrictions being in place. What will the overdose death totals be for the remainder of 2020? Just how high will they go? The spike in overdose deaths represents yet another way that COVID is killing folks — via state and local governments’ response to the novel virus.

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