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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

Arnold Ahlert / May 27, 2021

San Francisco Suffers More Deaths From ODs Than COVID

There’s even more to the sad story playing out in Nancy Pelosi’s district.

In San Francisco, an epidemic deadlier than coronavirus afflicted that city in 2020. And in 2021, while COVID appears on the wane, the increase in deaths engendered by that other epidemic is even greater.

Drug overdoses killed more than 700 people in San Francisco in 2020, compared to fewer than 300 deaths attributed to coronavirus. Now? “This year’s preliminary tally of 252 accidental overdose deaths from January to April, which is the latest available through the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, suggests San Francisco is on track to surpass 2020 in overdose deaths, which was a record-breaking year itself — 181 people fatally overdosed over the same time period in 2021,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Chronicle further reveals that in recent years, accidental overdose deaths in that city have risen sharply, and that the 252 deaths in the first four months of 2021 exceeds the total of 222 deaths recorded during the entire year of 2017.

The story behind the story? The paper adds, “The chief medical examiner’s data shows that overdose fatalities in San Francisco began to skyrocket in 2019, when fentanyl entered the city’s drug supply.”

For anyone paying even the remotest attention, this is hardly surprising. As a 2019 report from the CDC revealed, nationwide deaths from fentanyl soared more than 1,000% from 1,600 deaths in 2011 to 18,335 deaths in 2016.

In 2019, the total number of U.S. overdose fatalities reached a new high of 70,980, of which 36,500, were attributed to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Cocaine and methamphetamine fatalities also increased, largely because these substances were mixed with fentanyl. And a paper produced by Vanda Felbab-Brown for the Brookings Institution reveals something else many Americans have known for quite some time. “Since 2013,” it states, “China has been the principal source of the fentanyl flooding the U.S. illicit drug market — or of the precursor agents from which fentanyl is produced, often in Mexico — fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.”

In a better nation, this contemptible combination of communist Chinese thugs enabling Mexican drug cartels — for the sole purpose of getting Americans addicted to deadly drugs — would be seen as tantamount to an act of war.

In this one, under a deliberately comatose Biden administration, “business as usual” has become better than ever. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection confiscated more fentanyl in the first half of 2021 than in the last three years,” The Federalist reports. “CBP seized 6,494 pounds of the drug between October 2020 and April 2021, according to recently released data. Nearly 2,000 more pounds of fentanyl have been seized by CBP officials compared to last year amid the southern border surge. CBP seized 4,776 pounds in 2020 and 2,801 pounds in 2019.”

Remember back in March when President Joe Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to address the crisis occurring at our southern border, where illegal border crossings remain at 20-year highs — and monthly deportations of illegals reached the lowest level ever recorded in April?

Harris apparently doesn’t. It’s been 64 days since her appointment and she hasn’t held a single press conference on the subject or taken single trip to the border. On Monday, the White House revealed this was no accident. Despite a new video showing a group of illegal immigrants rushing the border and overwhelming Border Patrol agents in Texas on Sunday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed that Harris still hasn’t made any arrangements to meet with the local officials bearing the brunt of the chaos. “I expect she will make a trip to the Northern Triangle at some point soon,” Psaki said. “So that would be where she would travel given her purview.”

And while Harris’s purview remains focused elsewhere, along with that of a deliberately somnambulant media, Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressed the impact of drug smuggling the Biden administration seems intent on ignoring. “The Texas Department of Public Safety patrols the border every single day,” Abbott stated. “And they have seen an 800% increase in the amount of fentanyl coming across the border. They seized this year enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the entire state of New York.”

For the record, New York is home to more than 19.3 million people, and as Abbott reminds us, that was merely the amount of fentanyl seized by the Border Patrol.

How much fentanyl wasn’t seized? For open-border advocates in general, and the Democrat Party in particular, such inconvenient questions are of little concern, as is the reality the Biden administration has proven to be one of the best business partners Mexican cartels and their Chinese suppliers could ever hope for. So much so that Homeland Security Investigations, the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, has revealed that Mexican cartels are attempting to establish a presence in the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest.

No doubt San Francisco and other American cities and towns will “benefit” from this improvement in the supply chain. The cartels will benefit even more — much more. “Experts estimated the money made on drug trafficking by the cartels at around $500 billion a year,” columnist Wayne Allen Root reveals. “That’s half a trillion dollars a year — ‘trillion’ with a T.”

And where is San Francisco’s most powerful politician? Two months ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted all of the problems associated with the wholesale chaos at the border were Donald Trump’s fault. “Every minute that a child is separated from a parent, to me, is a crisis,” Pelosi bloviated. “So we want this to move along expeditiously. But you have to have a good plan. And what [the Biden administration] inherited was terrible.”

Perhaps Pelosi might have a tad more credibility if she expressed an equal amount of concern for San Franciscans of all ages separated from their futures, courtesy of the exponentially increasing number of addicts and overdoses in the city she ostensibly represents. Yet that is apparently a bridge too far for the woman who insisted, less than a month later, that America was “on a good path at the border under the leadership of President Joe Biden.”

In San Francisco, Dr. Phillip Coffin, director of substance abuse research for the Department of Public Health, appears resigned to this contemptible reality. “There isn’t a quick way to go back to the way things were before fentanyl hit San Francisco’s streets,” Coffin said. “It’s important to recognize that fentanyl is here for good.”

For bad is more like it. And the Biden administration is facilitating the scourge, every step of the way.

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