The novel coronavirus has turned America upside-down, killing tens of thousands and laying waste to some 30 million jobs. We know the virus emerged from Wuhan, China, perhaps from a virology lab. But Wuhan is also the source of another deadly epidemic, long predating COVID-19: American fentanyl overdoses.
It just goes to show how much damage China and our entanglements with its Communist regime have done to our nation.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has quickly become America’s most dangerous drug. In 2018, fentanyl killed 31,897 people in the United States, more than twice the number felled by any other narcotic. Just two milligrams, enough to cover Lincoln’s beard on a penny, can prove fatal. In the past five years, it has devastated hundreds of US communities, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest.
As a recent RAND analysis concludes, “most of the fentanyl and novel synthetic opioids in US street markets — as well as their precursor chemicals — originate in China, where the regulatory system does not effectively police the country’s expansive pharmaceutical and chemical industries.”
Christopher F. Rufo is a contributing editor of City Journal, documentary filmmaker, and research fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. This piece was adapted from City Journal.
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