Americans were rightfully outraged when almost 3,000 Americans were killed on 9-11 and another 6,000 injured. As a nation, we declared war in Afghanistan and have suffered more than 2,200 killed and over 20,000 injured. We value life in our country, and we do not turn a blind eye when our citizens are killed and harmed. That is why the President was correct in August 2017 when he declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency. The CDC reported that there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. The numbers remained just as high in 2018. 70,000 dead Americans per year is a national crisis of unprecedented proportion. Just recently, border patrol agents in Arizona confiscated the “largest seizure in U.S. history of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid blamed for the majority of overdose deaths” and the overwhelming majority of which comes from Mexico.
It is time to elevate this national health emergency to a National Emergency under the National Emergency Act and focus on the source of opioids that are killing our people--drug running from Mexico. Without an effective barrier, drug traffickers routinely and successfully cross the southern border to deliver death to Americans. There are currently 32 National Emergencies declared, not one of which is killing even one U.S. Citizen. With the yearly carnage of our people exceeding the entire death toll for the 12-year Vietnam War, there is no rational basis to conclude this isn’t a national emergency.