Member of Opioid Commission Calls It a ‘Sham’

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a member of the bipartisan opioid commission, said the Republican-led Congress has turned the work of the group into a “charade” and a “sham,” CNN reports. Speaking specifically about President Trump’s emergency declaration, Kennedy, the son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, claimed that it has been ineffective because there simply is no funding behind it. “You can’t expect to stem the tide of a public-health crisis that is claiming over 64,000 lives per year without putting your money where your mouth is,” he said. Calling the opioid epidemic a “human addiction tsunami,” Kennedy, who has publicly fought his own drug and alcohol addictions, said the federal government has been failing Americans long before this weekend’s shutdown drama. “For people and families struggling with addiction in this epidemic, it’s essentially been a government shutdown from the start,” he added.