During an interview with CBS News, Republican Policy Committee chair Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) argued that China is conducting warfare by intentionally flooding the United States with fentanyl.
Ernst argued in the interview on Friday that China’s efforts are intentional, not just to earn a profit by selling the chemicals to create fentanyl to Mexico but to harm Americans.
“The Chinese are selling these precursor chemicals into Mexico. Then the Mexican cartels are working on making the fentanyl and distributing up into the United States,” she said. “I think that the Chinese are intentionally poisoning America. And of course, the Chinese don’t want to assist us with this.”
“When we see an adversary like China poisoning our communities, it’s very disconcerting,” Ernst added. “So we have to educate the American people. We have to work with our Mexican counterparts to push back against the cartel and the Chinese. We can’t continue to lose our youth to this fentanyl epidemic. It is extremely important that we push back.”
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst accused China of "intentionally poisoning" Americans by not stopping the supply chain networks that produce fentanyl. "We have to work with our Mexican counterparts to push back against the cartel and the Chinese," she said. pic.twitter.com/eMRLvKk05W
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 11, 2023
A top official at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently told CBS News that there is a relationship between Mexican drug cartels and Chinese chemical companies.
The opioid crisis does not begin in Mexico.
It begins in China.
And it’s another reason we need to recognize the Chinese Communist Party as the dangerous adversary it is.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) February 10, 2023
While the opioid epidemic began in the U.S. in the late 1990s because doctors were overprescribing prescription opioids, it has been worsened by the introduction of fentanyl to the illegal drug market — leading to skyrocketing overdose rates.
Fentanyl has become an even worse problem than any other drugs, as it is responsible for the most drug deaths across the U.S. right now. The deadly synthetic opioid is often mixed in other drugs — including cocaine and heroin, or fake prescription drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and Adderall — commonly hidden without the knowledge of the drug user.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 106,000 people passed away from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021 — which is a startling 15% increase from the previous year.
“Mexican [drug cartels] will almost certainly have the greatest direct impact on the fentanyl market in the United States for the near future because of these organizations’ increased capacity and capabilities for fentanyl production, adaptations to restrictions on precursor chemicals, and existing drug trafficking infrastructure in the United States,” the DEA’s most recent National Drug Threat Assessment said.
The drug cartels “use a combination of methods to obtain chemicals used for fentanyl production in Mexico, primarily from sources originating in China, including purchases made on the open market, smuggling chemicals hidden in legitimate commercial shipments, mislabeling shipments to avoid controls and the attention of law enforcement, and diversion from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.”
“Law enforcement seizures in 2019 and 2020 include many chemicals which are uncontrolled in China and Mexico,” the report added. “The emergence of this chemical demonstrates the continued efforts by traffickers in Mexico and China to bypass international precursor chemical controls to continue producing illicit fentanyl.”