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Fentanyl, drug overdoses in US surged by 279 percent

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Drug Trafficking

The UK’s Independent published a report titled “More American Indians and Black Americans died from a pandemic surge in fentanyl overdoses than any other group.” Specifically, between 2016 and 2021 drug overdose deaths rose by a horrific 279 per cent.

Independent reports “nearly 70,000 people died from fentanyl-linked drug overdoses in 2021 alone, marking a nearly four-fold increase in fentanyl-linked deaths within five years, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Fatal overdoses from drugs reached to over 108,000 in 2021; roughly two-thirds of all overdose deaths now involve fentanyl, according to the CDC.

The Independent reports:

That pandemic-era surge in the number of fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths has disproportionately impacted Black Americans and American Indians and Alaskan Natives, underscoring growing racial disparities in drug treatment, prevention and access to a toxic illicit drug supply.

Between 2016 and 2021, the rate of overdose deaths involving fentanyl spiked from 5.7 deaths per 100,000 people to 21.6 per 100,000, according to the report.

In 2021, the rate of fentanyl overdose deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives was 33.1 per 100,000, followed by a rate of 31.3 per 100,000 among Black Americans.

r Allison Lin, an addiction psychiatrist at University of Michigan Medical School, told ABC News that while fentanyl-linked deaths have dominated headlines and rocked communities across the US, deadly epidemics from other drugs have not disappeared.

“It doesn’t mean that we’ve ever addressed the crack epidemic, I would say, and we also have a rising meth epidemic in the country as well and everything is just made worse [because] these [is] not just single [a] substance that people are using anymore,” she said. “They’re really oftentimes combined with fentanyl.”

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COVID-19

Former Harvard medical professor says he was fired for opposing Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates

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Covid

“My hope is that someday, Harvard will find its way back to academic freedom and independence.” That is the heartfelt message from Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a former Harvard University professor of medicine since 2003, who recently announced publicly he was fired for “clinging to the truth” in his opposition to Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates.

Kulldorff posted the news on social media alongside an essay published in the City Journal last week. The epidemiologist and biostatistician also spoke with National Review about the incident. Kulldorff says he was fired by the Harvard-affiliated Mass General Brigham hospital system and put on a leave of absence by Harvard Medical School in November 2021 over his stance on Covid.

Nearly two years later, in October 2023, his leave of absence was terminated as a matter of policy, marking the end of his time at the university. Harvard severed ties with Kulldorff “all on their initiative,” he said.

The history of the medical professional’s public stance on Covid-19 vaccines and mandates is detailed by National Review:

Censorship and rejection led Kulldorff to co-author the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020 alongside Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University. Together, the three public-health scientists argued for limited and targeted Covid-19 restrictions that “protect the elderly, while letting children and young adults live close to normal lives,” as Kulldorff put it in his essay.

“The declaration made clear that no scientific consensus existed for school closures and many other lockdown measures. In response, though, the attacks intensified—and even grew slanderous,” he wrote, naming former National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins as the one who ordered a “devastating published takedown” of the declaration.

Testifying before Congress in January, Collins reaffirmed his previous statements attacking the Great Barrington Declaration.

Despite the coordinated effort against it, the document has over 939,000 signatures in favor of age-based focused protection.

The Great Barrington Declaration’s authors, who advocated the quick reopening of schools, have been vindicated by recent studies that confirm pandemic-era school closures were, in fact, detrimental to student learning. The data show that students from third through eighth grade who spent most of the 2020–21 school year in remote learning fell more than half a grade behind in math scores on average, while those who attended school in person dropped a little over a third of a grade, according to a New York Times review of existing studies. In addition to learning losses, school closures did very little to stop the spread of Covid, studies show.

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