TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling on President Joe Biden to restore the Director for the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) position to a cabinet-level post. The expiration of Title 42 this week brings the potential for a massive migrant surge, according to Moody – permitting even more deadly fentanyl to flood into Florida.
Title 42 is a part of U.S. law that deals with public health, social welfare, and civil rights. It gives the federal government the ability to take emergency action to keep communicable diseases out of the country and is set to expire on Wednesday, December 21.
A CALL FOR ACTION
“The opioid crisis, fueled by illicit fentanyl from Mexico, continues to rage, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year. With Title 42 set to expire this week, we can only imagine how much more fentanyl will make it across the border under the cover of a massive migration surge,” Attorney General Ashley Moody told The Florida Standard.
“I am demanding that the president take this crisis seriously and work to stop the large amounts of this deadly drug flooding into our country, including restoring the nation’s drug czar position back to a cabinet post,” said Moody.
In the letter to the president, Attorney General Moody points out that Biden failed to discuss illicit fentanyl and China’s role in supplying Mexican drug cartels with the synthetic opioid’s precursors in a meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping on Nov. 14.
The letter states: “If you continue to refuse to address this issue on an international level – where certainly ground could be gained – at least step aside and allow a qualified drug czar the independence needed to act in the best interest of Americans… As someone who spent his time in the United States Senate not only advocating for the ONDCP but coining the term drug czar, why have you not taken action?”
Since President Biden took office, authorities have seized nearly 23,000 pounds of illicit fentanyl, enough to kill the entire U.S. population more than 15 times over. Drug overdose deaths are also skyrocketing – more than 100,000 occurred last year alone. In September, Moody led a multistate, bipartisan effort urging the president to classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.
DRUG CZAR MOVED FROM CABINET
In 2009, while Biden served as Vice President, the Obama administration removed the ONDCP Director (drug czar) from a cabinet-level position to a presidential appointment, inhibiting the coordination of U.S. priorities and policies for fighting illicit drugs.
In the letter to President Biden, Moody calls for the position of ONDCP Director to be moved back to a cabinet-level post. The transfer would bring accountability and provide the office flexibility in fighting the influx of fentanyl across the border.
The move would also elevate the drug czar to better serve as a check on the administration’s “terrible” immigration policies, which are fueling the opioid crisis, according to Moody.
Fentanyl is now the number one killer of adults aged 18-45. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, killed more than 71,000 people in the U.S. in 2021. Fentanyl-related deaths among teens increased 168 percent last year, with 680 deaths nationwide.