In his speech in New Hampshire about his plan to deal with the opioid crisis, President Trump went after the suppliers and dealers when he announced,
“These are terrible people, and we have to get tough on those people, because we can have all the Blue Ribbon committees we want, but if we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time. Just remember that. We’re wasting our time. And that toughness includes the death penalty…….
You know, it’s an amazing thing. Some of these drug dealers will kill thousands of people during their lifetime — thousands of people — and destroy many more lives than that. But they will kill thousands of people during their lifetime, and they’ll get caught and they’ll get 30 days in jail. Or they’ll go away for a year, or they’ll be fined. And yet, if you kill one person, you get the death penalty or you go to jail for life.
So if we’re not going to get tough on the drug dealers who kills thousands of people and destroy so many people’s lives, we are just doing the wrong thing. We have got to get tough.
This isn’t about nice anymore. This isn’t about committees. This isn’t about let’s get everybody and have dinners, and let’s have everybody go to a Blue Ribbon committee and everybody gets a medal for, frankly, talking and doing nothing. This is about winning a very, very tough problem. And if we don’t get very tough on these dealers, it’s not going to happen, folks. It’s not going to happen. And I want to win this battle.
Drug traffickers kill so many thousands of our citizens every year. And that’s why my Department of Justice will be seeking so many much tougher penalties than we’ve ever had, and we will be focusing on the penalty that I talked about previously for the big pushers, the ones that are really killing so many people. And that penalty is going to be the death penalty.
But the ultimate penalty has to be the death penalty.
But I think unless you do that, unless you have really, really powerful penalties, led by the death penalty for the really bad pushers and abusers, we are going to get nowhere. And I’m telling you, we are going to get somewhere.
Companies must also be held accountable. The Department of Justice recently created a task force to coordinate investigations and lawsuits against manufacturers and other bad actors that harm our citizens.
We’ll be tough. We’ll be smart. We’ll be kind. We’ll be loving. We’ll do whatever we have to do. But we’re going to win.”
The day before the speech Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, explained,
“The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law.”
The question remains that, while he included “abusers” of the drugs to which they have become addicted most likely through the use of prescribed drugs, will the heads of companies be included, or will the death penalty only apply to stereotype dealers and over the top movie villain types.
Consider, Alex Azar. He is an American lawyer and former drug company executive who is the current United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. From 2012 to 2017 he was president of the U.S. division of Eli Lily and Company, a major drug company, and was a member of the board of directors of the pharmaceutical lobby group Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby group.
The companies most responsible for what has become the opioid epidemic, and for whom Azar would have most likely lobbied, are Purdue Pharma, Abbott Labs, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Covidien, Watson Pharmaceuticals, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, and they have been sued because they deceived physicians and patients by not only exaggerating the effectiveness of opioids for the treatment of long-term, non-cancer pain, but by also withholding information regarding the dangerous, addictive effects of painkilling drugs.
If Happy Dog Saggy Pants gets the death penalty, will the leaders of any of these companies go with him?