Oregon Declares State of Emergency Over Fentanyl Crisis

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The Facts

  • Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, alongside the Mayor of Portland Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, declared a 90-day state of emergency in downtown Portland on Tuesday over concerns about the drug fentanyl. The declaration will see all three levels of government allocate resources and establish a "command center" to address the issue.

  • The command center will connect drug addicts with first responders and give them access to resources, including drug treatment centers, behavioral health doctors, and food benefits. The Portland police will also partner with the state police in patrolling the city's downtown for sales of fentanyl.

The Spin

Democratic narrative

The health and safety factors at play have never been lost on the government, but the rate at which this drug has infected the streets has been difficult for everyone to catch up with. The danger of fentanyl is unlike any other drug, which is why each level of government in the state has been developing coordinated programs to combat the issue. This emergency declaration is Oregon's strongest anti-fentanyl effort yet, and it will also be the most impactful.

Republican narrative

All of the Democrats' favorite policies have come together to create this tragedy. After the city defunded the police in 2020, drug use and homelessness skyrocketed, prompting them to increase the police budget by over $5M a year later. And after they decriminalized drugs, both drug addiction and overdose deaths soared through the roof. This is a manmade crisis that could've been avoided if the state, county, and city governments had chosen common sense over politics.

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