As President Joe Biden (D) shook hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) joined some of his colleagues to pressure the U.S. President to address the fentanyl crisis.
The senators believe that China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have played an integral role in enabling the fentanyl supply chain.
Sen. Scott and his colleagues began the letter by stating, “The devastating impact of the fentanyl epidemic on our communities and families cannot be overstated. We strongly request that you urge President Xi Jinping, in this week’s meeting, to take decisive action in curbing the production and export of fentanyl-producing precursor chemicals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”
The senators continued, “It is evident that the PRC plays a significant role in the production of fentanyl making its way into our country; contributing to the alarming rates of addiction and fatal overdoses across the United States … Beyond supplying the chemicals to produce the deadly drug, businesses in the PRC are also assisting Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) in laundering the money that comes from selling the illicit drugs in the United States.”
These words come after the U.S. saw a 24% increase in fentanyl-induced deaths from 2020 to 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sen. Scott and the bipartisan group of senators also mentioned, “Approximately 26.1 out of 100,000 deaths in the United States are related to fentanyl up from 5.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. With each passing day, our nation’s fentanyl crisis continues to intensify, with no end in sight without prompt action from our Chinese counterparts. We strongly urge you to use this opportunity to implore President Xi to finally put an end to the manufacturing of illicit fentanyl and hold the PRC accountable for its role in contributing to the fentanyl crisis.”
According to the letter, Mexico itself has asked President Xi to “stop the flow of fentanyl.” It is a global problem that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, more than 70,000 in 2021 alone.
Scott joined Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Angus King (I-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AR).