Chairman Green Demands Updated Data on Fentanyl Overdose Deaths

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Mark Green, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky demanding updated data on drug overdose deaths in the midst of the fentanyl crisis plaguing our country due to the Biden-Mayorkas border crisis.

Chairman Green wrote: "In recent years, drug overdose deaths in the United States have skyrocketed as powerful narcotics have proliferated throughout our nation... Since October, CBP has seized over 8,600 pounds of fentanyl—enough to kill the entire U.S. population several times over.

The Chairman continued: "Unfortunately, these seizures of narcotics represent oniy a fraction of the total supply that is being trafficked and distributed throughout the nation with lethal consequences. As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, one of my top priorities is addressing the flow of fentanyl that is being smuggled into this country and devastating counties communities across the nation.

"This is a crisis, and it is of critical importance that policymakers have timely data to inform our efforts to investigate and address this epidemic that is taking the lives of hundreds of Americans every day. ... It has now been five months since any new data has been published. This lack of timely data hinders the ability of Congress to gain a clear understanding of the drug epidemic and how it is evolving," the Chairman

Background: Drug overdose deaths have been rising dramatically since 2020. In 2019, there were an estimated 72,151 deaths due to drug overdoses, in 2021 that number rose to 107.622. Fentanyl and related synthetic opioids account for over 71,000 of all overdose deaths in 2021. At the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 1.5 million fentanyl pills in a single week in December. Since October, CBP has seized over 8,600 pounds of fentanyl.

Read the full letter here.