Lawmakers call for COVID relief bill to help ease opioid epidemic burden


WASHINGTON, DC – Some lawmakers are alarmed that the opioid crisis is worsening during the pandemic.

NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright reports some lawmakers think a new COVID relief bill is needed to help ease the burden on Americans facing uncertainty.

{Congressman John Katko, R/NY} What I’m seeing is completely alarming.

{Congressman David Trone, D/MD} the current situation is dire…

Maryland Congressman David Trone and New York Congressman John Katko say while the COVID-19 pandemic rages, so too does the opioid epidemic.

{Congressman John Katko, R/NY} there’s no doubt that we were starting to get the opioid crisis somewhat under control and now it’s just mushroomed again across this great country.

Congressman Trone says opioids are ravaging parts of his congressional district.

{Congressman David Trone, D/MD} all across Western Maryland – in Washington County we’re up like 46% overdose deaths year to date and remember that’s on top of 2019 a record year of deaths, 71,000 deaths.

The American Medical Association says more than 40 states are reporting increases in opioid-related deaths.

{Congressman John Katko, R/NY} Opioid abuse is on the rise. I think it goes hand in glove with the pandemic.

Katko says Congress must act – and is urging negotiators to reach a deal on more COVID relief to help.

{Congressman John Katko, R/NY} (I was supportive of the 38 billion dollars in the COVID relief package that went to the opioid treatment crisis and prevention and) we need another round of it there just no doubt about it.

Congressman David Trone, D/MD} We’ve got to spend more money to save lives…
Trone agrees – more relief for fighting back the pandemic can help Americans struggling with the opioid crisis.

{Congressman David Trone, D/MD} it’s just an absolute disaster so it’s crucial that we get this next set of covid legislation through…

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have yet to agree on another relief package… and the clock is ticking as both chambers will recess for the Christmas break in the coming weeks.

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