Rantz: Seattle running out of dead body storage due to fentanyl ODs

Jan 22, 2023, 6:00 PM
Seattle fentanyl...
Seattle-King County Public Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan (right) recently admitted that the King County Medical Examiner is running low on storage for dead bodies due in part to Seattle's fentanyl crisis. (File image and screenshot from King County Board of Health meeting)
(File image and screenshot from King County Board of Health meeting)

Seattle’s fentanyl overdose crisis is so bad that the King County Medical Examiner is running low on storage for dead bodies. The stunning admission was made by Seattle-King County Public Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan during a recent Board of Health meeting.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office is now struggling with the issue of storing bodies because the fentanyl-related death toll continues to climb. Obviously, they have finite space in the coolers they use and that space is now being exceeded on a regular basis,” Dr. Khan admitted.

King County has already experienced over one fatal fentanyl overdose death a day for the month of January, with 31 deaths as of Jan. 22, 2023. Last year, the county recorded 1,019 fatal overdoses, with fentanyl responsible for the majority of deaths at 686. It’s the highest number of overdose deaths the county has ever recorded.

Running low on storage space for dead addicts

Drug overdoses are straining the Medical Examiner’s resources, forcing the county to adapt to the rise in deaths. Not only are these deaths on top of every other death handled by the county, but the area’s population has also been growing.

“We have options for temporary morgue surge capacity when our census count gets high, including storing decedents on autopsy gurneys and partnerships with funeral homes. We’re exploring longer-term options for adding more capacity,” a Public Health spokesperson tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

The drug crisis has worsened considerably since Washington Democrats decriminalized drugs after the state supreme court deemed the state’s felony possession law unconstitutional. Democrats had the option of changing one word in the law — adding “knowingly” to the possession law — but they opted to make it a misdemeanor, which is not charged. Effectively, Democrats legalized drugs over Republican objections.

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The crisis will worsen in 2023

Democrats show no interest in fixing their mess. Rather than focusing on re-criminalizing drugs, they’re pushing bills to expand the availability of fentanyl testing strips. Obviously, that won’t make a dent in the fatal overdoses. But Democrats refuse to condemn drug use, claiming any judgment would stigmatize addicts and prevent them from seeking treatment. Under the current permissive drug strategy, addicts aren’t seeking treatment and homelessness is rising.

“The biggest driver of these fatal overdoses involves fentanyl in white powder and in fake pills, which are flooding the streets,” Dr. Khan noted.

Where are the drugs coming from? Our open southern border and chaotic point of entries with Mexico. President Joe Biden maintains an open-border policy, with Democrats doing nothing to tighten security. China is sending ingredients to produce fentanyl to Mexico, where drug cartels manufacture and distribute the deadly drug on our streets.

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Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle running out of dead body storage due to fentanyl ODs