As our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic and its vast economic and health ramifications, we cannot ignore the dangers of another public health crisis wrought at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. For far too long, China has been the largest primary source for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States. This deadly drug, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, can kill in tiny traces – a terrifying reality facing nearly every neighborhood in America.
This crisis hits close to home. In recent years, fentanyl originating in China has made its way to my community in central Pennsylvania – spurring addiction, harming families, and killing too many of my patients, friends and neighbors. Just last week, law enforcement raided a “stash house” in my hometown of Altoona, and apprehended two drug dealers, 27 bricks of heroin, and 153 grams of fentanyl. This bust, though modest, has the potential to save a number of lives; at the same time, we know that Chinese-produced fentanyl remains on the streets, ready to kill.