A Texas congressman is sounding the alarm over how fatal even the smallest amount of fentanyl can be as the lethal drug continues to pour into the United States.
“People don’t understand how deadly fentanyl is. A sugar packet, a Sweet’N Low packet of fentanyl could kill, in its pure form, all of the people in a crowded room—say a hundred people,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, says.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 2 milligrams of fentanyl can kill someone depending on their size, drug usage history, and tolerance.
“You don’t understand how particularly dangerous it is until you read stories about, for example, somebody who is overdosing from fentanyl, or frankly they’re poisoned by fentanyl. And then someone tries to perform CPR on them. And then they go into cardiac arrest from the transitive property of having [performed] CPR,” Roy, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, says.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized about 10,600 pounds of fentanyl this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, compared to about 11,200 pounds last fiscal year, The Daily Signal reported.
Roy joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the ongoing crisis on the southern border, Anthony Fauci’s plans to retire this winter, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s handling of monkeypox.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Samantha Renck: The border crisis shows no signs of stopping and neither do the drugs pouring into the country. Joining the podcast today to discuss the crisis at our southern border is Rep. Chip Roy from the 21st Congressional District of Texas. Congressman, thank you so much for joining me.
Rep. Chip Roy: Happy to do it as always, appreciate you all.
Renck: Of course. Now, we will also be discussing Dr. [Anthony] Fauci’s retirement and what he could face if Republicans take back the House this November, but first, let’s address the border crisis.
My colleague Virginia Allen recently reported that drug overdose is the No. 1 cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 to 45. She also reported that so far this fiscal year, which ends at the end of September, Customs and Border Protection has seized roughly 10,600 pounds of fentanyl.
Congressman Roy, it’s hard to wrap my head around this number. First and foremost, how much fentanyl can kill a person?
Roy: Yeah, well, this is something that’s really important. I’ve tried to do a number of podcasts, speeches, and reports with parents in the district I represent. I need to do more, frankly, because people don’t understand how deadly fentanyl is.
A sugar packet, a Sweet’N Low packet of fentanyl could kill in its pure form all of the people in a crowded room, say a hundred people.
You don’t understand how particularly dangerous it is until you read stories about. For example, somebody who is overdosing from fentanyl, or frankly, they’re poisoned by fentanyl, and then someone tries to perform CPR on them, and then they go into cardiac arrest from the transitive property of having formed CPR.
We’ve had that happen here with emergency crews in Austin. It happened with the West Point cadet in Florida, which was sort of an infamous problem a few months ago.
But it is highly, highly deadly. And what most parents don’t know and what most young people don’t know is one pill can kill. That you think you’re taking Xanax. You think you’re taking Adderall. You think you’re just smoking a joint. It’s laced with fentanyl and suddenly you’re dead.
And one final point on that, [the Drug Enforcement Administration] was just doing one of their normal tests, where they pull in a bunch of stuff off the streets and they test it. And the last time they did that, 40% of the products were laced with fentanyl. It’s that bad.
Renck: Wow, it is crazy. I feel like every day, no matter what I’m reading, what I’m watching, there’s always a headline about how out of control the border crisis, and especially the fentanyl crisis, is getting.
Now, it’s one thing to seize the drugs and to stop them in their tracks, but it’s another thing to actually address the root problem and even prevent the issue from the start. What are some ways that you are working to address the fentanyl crisis?
Roy: Well, first of all, trying to inform people like we were just talking about. I mean, I didn’t even get into the stash. They found like 2,100 pills of what they call the rainbow fentanyl, which looks like candy, or the 500,000 pills stopped in a car in Arizona.
I mean, I can go on and on about how bad it is. And it’s obviously negatively impacting everybody in America, but particularly border states.
So what we’re trying to do is just inform people, elevate people, understand the crisis. Understand why it’s critical that we actually secure the border of the United States.
Everything that my democratic colleagues and the Biden administration are doing is purposeful. [Homeland Security] Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is purposely ignoring both the text and the spirit of the law to leave our borders wide open, somehow in the name of supposed compassion and humanity.
When in fact we’ve now had a thousand migrants’ bodies found along the border. Mobile morgues in ranches in South Texas in Brooks County, for example, because there’s been so many dead bodies and migrants found.
Just this morning, I saw a story of a 3-year-old little girl that was found drowned in the Rio Grande. And American citizens dying, 107,000 from opioid overdoses last year.
So, whereas one simple solution to this problem, that is to require that we stop the flow across our border. And we could do that tomorrow and embrace the policies that would do that, which effectively are the policies of the Trump administration.
And go even further than that, finish building the wall, clear the cane, have roads along the border. Empower Border Patrol to be able to do their job, rather than processing people at facilities.
Make our laws and policies that match our laws, make it to where we must turn people away at the border if they don’t have papers or they don’t have a legitimate claim and are being detained for the entire adjudication of that claim.
If we don’t change our policy to do that, you cannot stop what’s happening at the border. That’s the plain simple reality.
And finally, you have to target cartels as the terrorist organizations that they are. You just have to look at the news of what’s going on with the Sinaloa and frankly, through across the entire border. Seeing what’s happening in Tijuana, it is very deadly along our southern border and the cartels have operational control of it and we should go after them.
Renck: And you just brought up what would happen if we don’t stop what’s happening at the border, what are some of the long-term and even short-term consequences if we don’t get the border under control?
Roy: Well, first of all, we are losing the entire notion of sovereignty. Second of all, we are empowering cartels to the detriment of our well-being and frankly, the detriment of Mexico.
We are creating essentially a narco terror state on steroids in Mexico. We are damaging our youth with highly addictive fentanyl. People are dying, but it’s going to continue to flow into our country. We are empowering and enriching China, who are moving that fentanyl through Mexico and the cartels into the United States.
And we are, frankly, diminishing the entire concept of the rule of law and at the same time, undermining our entire immigration system because you can’t have an immigration system if anybody can just come to our border and walk across the Rio Grande and then get released into the United States, as the current administration is doing. Releasing them under parole, releasing them under notices to appear, not even requiring that there be any kind of adjudication of an asylum claim, but in fact, just an open-door policy.
The consequences are dire. And in particular, I would say that it is representative of an invasion of Texas, of Arizona, throughout the entirety of the United States.
Not an invasion of human beings seeking a better way of life, I don’t begrudge any individual trying to do that, but an invasion orchestrated by cartels, by illegal actors, criminal elements that are trying to exploit our open border for the well-being of their illicit and illegal organizations or even China and Mexico that are complicit in it.
Renck: Well, I also wanted to ask you just along the same lines of fentanyl smuggling and these drugs getting into our country, Fox News reported recently that San Diego has become an epicenter for fentanyl smuggling. What do you think is contributing to this?
Roy: There are so many factors at play, but the main factor, … at the risk of some repetition, there is one predominant factor and it is a federal government that is choosing very specifically to not enforce our laws, to release people into the United States, supposedly in the name of compassion, but in fact, to the detriment of the United States as a country, to the people of the United States and to the migrants seeking to come here.
That’s the simple reality. Those are the facts. They are undeniable facts.
I have no idea why the media does not ask every single Democrat candidate why they are continuing to be complicit in an administration that refuses to enforce the sovereign borders of the United States. And that’s the cause.
I mean, look, if anybody can come here and they can know they can just pay whatever they’re going to pay to the cartels, they’ll do that. But then there are consequences of that. Individuals getting sold into sex trafficking trade or into the slave labor, which happens every day right here in Texas.
I’m driving in Austin right now. There are stash houses in Austin. There are stash houses in San Antonio, in Houston where cartels send people here and then they end up being beholden to the cartels. Essentially modern-age slavery in the United States.
It is completely mind-boggling that my Democrat colleagues would allow this to continue.
Renck: Yes, it is completely mind-boggling. And it’s also heartbreaking to see what is happening in the country. As you mentioned in Texas, and then also throughout the rest of the states, it feels like every state is now a border state. I know that’s a saying that we’ve all heard before, but as we continue to see the fentanyl crisis continue throughout the country, it’s really crazy to see the reach of these cartel members.
So, Congressman Roy, I want to shift topics a little bit and talk about Dr. Fauci, who announced on Monday he is stepping down this December. You said in a tweet, “#COVIDHearings. Expose, Fire, Defund. #TakeBackAmerica.” What did you mean by this?
Roy: Well, let’s just be perfectly clear that what we’ve seen over the last two-and-a-half years is one of the biggest abuses of power that I think I’ve seen in our country’s history.
You know, my good friend [Rep.] Thomas Massie had a great tweet thread himself today where he outlined this—and in fact, I might have been retweeting that when I said that—where he pointed out that it is Dr. Fauci who ignored science while hiding behind it.
How long were we being told that there was no such thing as natural immunity being as effective as the vaccines and just ignored the realities of natural immunity? How much were we told that, “Oh, mask up. And you must wear masks on airplanes and sending our kids in schools, into the corners of rooms, being forced to wear masks”? Never mind what that means in terms of their speech development or their mental health.
How about ignoring all of the side effects of the vaccines with this new mRNA technology or the policies that were advanced explaining how much this was bad for the elderly versus being bad for children?
The common sense just thrown out the door, and it was done purposely because Anthony Fauci was more concerned about being on the front of magazines than he was in terms of advancing what was in the best interest of the United States.
It wasn’t science he was following, he was downplaying treatments that might work in pursuit of heavily funded, expensive pharmaceuticals. All, by the way, while we gave them immunity from liability.
I can’t even put into words how egregious this is and how much we need to have hearings to explore what was done by our public health officials to the American people over the last two-and-a-half years.
Renck: And you just brought up hearings. I wanted to ask, what can we expect if the GOP does take back the House this November?
Roy: Well, obviously, it’s going to depend. Each committee of jurisdiction has to do the hard work of putting together the hearings.
But we will fail as a Republican Party, as a Republican conference in the House, assuming particularly if we’re in the majority, if we do not hold hearings on Fauci and all of the public health officials who abused our trust and undermined our overall health, economy, well-being.
We will fail if we do not have hearings on the border, and how Alejandro Mayorkas has ignored his duty under the Constitution to secure the border of the United States.
We will fail if we don’t have hearings into the FBI and their targeting parents, their abuse of power. Looking into what they did or didn’t know or do with respect to going to Mar-a-Lago.
All of the issues where we see how much there has been a significant uptick in empowerment of the authoritarian regime and a total failure to follow the constitutional duties and the laws under our Constitution.
So I think these would be the bare minimum of things that we ought to be looking at in terms of hearings. There are probably others.
Renck: Now, I think that I read that Dr. Fauci, he’s retiring after 50 years. Why do you think Dr. Fauci is retiring now?
Roy: Well, I think the timing is fairly self-evident. There’s a notion in law, “res ipsa loquitur”: the thing speaks for itself. Anthony Fauci does not want to face the questioning and the targeting by Republicans who are going to be asking the questions that need to be asked.
That being said, I believe he should be subpoenaed. I believe he should be forced to come back and testify, not in what would at that point be as then-official capacity, but in his former official capacity.
He has questions he needs to answer and retirement should not prevent us from getting the answers that we deserve.
Renck: Now, just one more thing I wanted to ask you about. We heard recently from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] director, Rochelle Walensky, that the CDC basically failed in their response to COVID-19. Specifically, she said for “75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for COVID-19. And in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations.”
Now the CDC is dealing with monkeypox. What do you think of how they’re handling monkeypox?
Roy: Well, I haven’t studied it as closely. I would tell you that my friend Marty Makary, who’s a doctor at Johns Hopkins, was on Fox, I think night before last, and was asked that question. He said that we’ve learned no lessons and we’re carrying out a lot of the same errors that we made during COVID.
And I think you get these reflexive reactions rather than focusing in and zeroing in on who are the populations most at risk. How do you mitigate that and then affect public policy from there?
So COVID, for example, we knew at the outset, hell, I was tweeting about it and putting out warnings, we knew that it affected the elderly and our most vulnerable populations who had any kind of immune issues predominantly. And for everybody else, it was more like dealing with the flu and so forth.
And I’d say that there weren’t negative consequences from having COVID if you were young—just saying that’s what the data demonstrated.
And we could have adjusted our public policy to focus on protecting the elderly and those that were most vulnerable. And then keep our economy going and not panic and shut everything down.
Well, the same thing with the monkeypox. Are we not going to have a conversation about the population that is most affected by monkeypox and then adjust our policies accordingly? But instead, we’re going down this road of reactions that will cause people to make generic policies.
I saw one university—it might have been Rutgers, I can’t even remember—on Twitter, I saw they were going to have continued mask policies in part, they say, because of monkeypox, and keeping that on campus.
So I think we’re seeing continued failure by our public health officials.
Renck: Well, Congressman Chip Roy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today about the border crisis, Dr. Fauci’s retirement, and monkeypox. I really appreciate it and look forward to having you on the podcast again soon. Thank you so much.
Roy: Thanks, Samantha. Take care.
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