The report selection of deaths from drug overdoses and fentanyl imported from China have grow to be flooring 0 within the race to come to a decision who would be the subsequent governor of Kentucky, one of the crucial states toughest hit by way of the disaster.
Incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, one among best 3 Democrats within the nation to steer a pink state, is going through off with a variety of Republican challengers, every of whom has positioned the drug epidemic entrance and middle of their campaigns to unseat him.
“We can do better,” former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft advised Fox News Digital in an interview previous this month as she referred to as for a “full-court press” to take on the glide of fentanyl from China, which accounted for 70% of the two,250 overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2021.
The state surpassed the two,000-death milestone once more in 2022, achieving that determine with 4 months nonetheless last within the yr, and with 73% of the deaths involving fentanyl. The state’s ultimate record on overdose deaths for 2022 has now not but been launched.
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According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, China is still the principle supply of fentanyl being imported into the United States, killing greater than 100 Americans each day. It additionally is still the principle supply of fentanyl for the remainder of the arena.
Craft has been vital of Beshear’s seriousness in dealing with the consequences of drug disaster at the state, blasting him for now not even bringing up it all over his most up-to-date State of the Commonwealth speech in spite of a report selection of drug-related deaths.
“Not one time did he mention fentanyl. And we have a crisis in this state. We have a terrible drug crisis,” she mentioned. “And that is one area that I am going to stand very firm. And, you know, I’m going to have a full-court press when it comes to drugs in Kentucky.”
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Craft launched a brand new advert this week tying in combination the drug disaster and the disaster the U.S. southern border, describing how medication have been flowing into the U.S. during the porous border and making their method to Kentucky.
“Joe Biden and Andy Beshear are ignoring the border crisis. But it’s not just down here,” Craft mentioned within the advert as she walked subsequent to the border wall. “In Kentucky, we have our own border crisis. Criminal and illegal drugs like Fentanyl are flooding into our state, ravaging our communities.”
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and previous state legislator Ryan Quarles has in a similar fashion tied the 2 crises in combination. Speaking with Fox remaining week, he accused Beshear of being unwilling to deal with the hyperlink between the 2 with President Biden.
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“Everyone in Kentucky, including myself, knows somebody who’s been affected by the scourge of drugs across the commonwealth,” Quarles mentioned. “I think the disconnect between Andy Beshear and those families that have suffered through this is his unwillingness to address the issue.”
“He occupies the most powerful office in our state. If I was governor, I would call Governor [Greg] Abbott down in Texas and say, ‘What can we do to help?’ Because we know that the fentanyl is coming through the porous Mexican border,” he mentioned.
Quarles added that Beshear “supports Joe Biden’s policies” at the border, and does not keep in mind that despite the fact that Kentucky is not a border state, it has “border state problems.”
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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has additionally been a pointy critic of the way the drug disaster has been treated on the state and federal ranges. Speaking with Fox on Friday, he touted efforts he mentioned he had made to struggle the disaster, and he vowed he would not prevent for so long as he can be in place of work.
“From my first day in office until my last, I will never stop fighting the scourge of opioid and fentanyl abuse in our commonwealth,” he mentioned. “As attorney general, I’ve helped bring in over $840 million into Kentucky to fight this deadly plague. I’ve relentlessly pushed Joe Biden to address our border crisis, demanding that he label fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction and secure the southern border.”
“Fentanyl is killing more and more Kentuckians each day and is the second leading cause of death for African American men between the ages of 18 and 45. And Beshear refuses to stand up to his liberal friends in D.C. to help Kentuckians fight this epidemic. That will not be the case when I’m governor,” he mentioned.
“I’ll work with our legislature to increase criminal penalties for drug traffickers pushing fentanyl, I’ll partner with law enforcement to ensure they have the resources needed to get this poison off our streets, and I’ll continue to hold the Biden administration accountable for their failed policies at our southern border,” he added.
Fox reached out to Beshear for touch upon Kentucky’s report selection of drug-related deaths and what his management has completed, or is planning on doing, to deal with the disaster, however did not straight away obtain a reaction.
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The Republican and Democratic primaries are scheduled to be hung on Tuesday, May 16.