As the number of deaths from fentanyl overdoses continues to increase, Republican California Rep. Mike Garcia did not hold back in criticizing Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram’s positive assessment of the agency’s performance in combating illegal drug activity.
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During the DEA budget hearing, Garcia questioned Milgram on the agency’s progress in fulfilling its mission to fight illegal drug activity, citing the ongoing fentanyl crisis. However, Milgram expressed confidence in the agency’s personnel, claiming they are “doing an incredible job” of saving lives.
Garcia found Milgram’s confidence unwarranted and offensive in light of the fact that more than 70,000 people reportedly died in 2021 from overdoses involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. He commended Milgram for calling many of the fentanyl-related incidents “poisonings” instead of “overdoses.” Many victims do not even realize they are taking the deadly drug, believing they are consuming other medications like Xanax, Vicodin, or Oxycontin.
The congressman stated that his concern lies in the fact that Milgram has not been telling President Joe Biden the truth about the state of the fentanyl crisis. While Milgram claimed that DEA staff are transforming how they operate to attack drug cartels, Garcia believes that her delusional mindset is dangerous, especially when dealing with such a pressing and life-threatening issue.
Milgram’s office is currently under investigation for multiple allegations of handing no-bid contracts worth millions of dollars to her previous colleagues. This is a grave issue, particularly considering that the individuals hired under these contracts include some of Milgram’s former associates.
Overall, Garcia believes that self-awareness towards the DEA’s own performance in combating the fentanyl crisis is crucial. Pretending that the agency is doing a good job is harmful to Americans who have lost their lives to drug-related incidents.