KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws

Feb 1, 2023, 5:49 PM

fentanyl...

Carrie Hankins, of Jefferson County Public Health, holds a Fentanyl test strip during an event held at Lakewood Library on August 25, 2022 in Lakewood, Colorado. Jefferson County Public Health hosted the event entitled Fentanyl & Overdose: A Discussion for Jeffco Communities. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Seattle-King County Public Health is breathtakingly out of touch with the local drug crisis. It’s no wonder more addicts keep dying on our streets.

Last year, the Seattle Fire Department responded to a record-high number of overdose calls. The area’s fentanyl overdose crisis is so bad that the King County Medical Examiner is running low on storage for dead bodies. A key reason for the rise in deaths and overdoses is the Democrat-passed drug decriminalization bill. But Seattle Public Health has different culprits.

According to a Seattle Public Health spokesperson, the county is seeing a rise in drug deaths because of “structural racism” and “criminalization of substance use disorders.” This isn’t merely offensively ignorant, and this partisan, backward thinking will lead to more death.

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

Breathtaking ignorance

The left-wing partisans at Seattle Public Health cannot seem to bring themselves to admit that their policies are leading to more deaths. It’s not just drug decriminalization but “harm reduction” strategies that enable drug use by handing out tools for an addict to use that will inevitably lead to their death. Instead, Seattle Public Health issues a progressive list of talking points to explain the crisis.

“The underlying root causes that have resulted in the current overdose crisis are, unfortunately, not ones that will be reversed overnight,” Sharon Bogan, Seattle Public Health Communications Specialist, explained to KIRO 7 TV. “Structural factors, including lack of economic opportunities, social isolation, structural racism, criminalization of substance use disorders, housing stability, and stigma, are just some of the factors that will require long-term, systematic changes and resources at all levels, from federal to state to local.”

Bogan and the entire agency should be embarrassed by this statement. 

Rantz: Identity-obsessed Progressives can’t fathom crime without racism

Public Health as dangerous as drug dealers

Whites make up the overwhelming majority of fatal overdoses, according to the county. And while progressives lazily offer claims that blacks or Latinos are disproportionately victims, how do you explain such a staggeringly high death toll for whites? What structural racism do they face?

And there is no “criminalization of substance use disorder” anywhere in King County. Addicts are rarely arrested or charged. They’re literally given needles, pipes, and Narcan while being encouraged to smoke fentanyl in groups to prevent a fatal overdose. 

I asked Seattle Public Health to better explain their shameful statement, but Bogan would not elaborate on her positions. I honestly don’t blame her. Their statement is indefensible, and their mindset is killing people. They won’t focus on saving lives because they’ve invented the cause of the crisis to conform with their backward political beliefs. They’re as dangerous as local drug dealers.

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: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws