Senator Roger Marshall, R.Kan., asked why the government is so focused on monkeypox and not the number of fentanyl-related deaths from drugs crossing the southern border at a hearing held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Marshall began by asking questions about monkeypox vaccination strategies. Then he turned to fentanyl which he claimed was far more serious.
Walensky replied that the Health and Human Services Secretary would need to issue an emergency declaration. Sec. Sec. Marshall pointed out that Walensky could suggest that Becerra do so for fentanyl.
Walensky confirmed that they have had these conversations. Marshall’s concern about a shutdown of the border border was addressed by Walensky, who stated that “our ability shut down the border at CDC level is connected to communicable disease” and not drug crises.
Marshall wasn’t satisfied with Marshall’s response.
CBPVideo reports that July saw a 200% increase in seizures of fentanyl over June. Walensky denied that accusation, saying she doesn’t have the power to answer the senator’s questions.
Walensky responded by saying that the CDC engages in outreach and addressing mental illness, “community violence,” and surveillance.