Deep Dive (Nov. 18): ‘Tragic’: Biden on 100,000 Overdose Deaths Stats

New federal data suggests America’s drug epidemic has reached its deadliest height. The CDC published new data showing overdose deaths have topped 100,000 annually for the first time. President Joe Biden called it “a tragic milestone.” Researchers say the new record is being driven by opioid abuse. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period that ended April of this year. The report found overdose deaths jumped 28.5 percent when compared to the same period a year earlier.

Pfizer’s vaccine data may not be public till 2076—because the FDA is asking a federal judge to wait 55 years. The FDA’s request was made in a filing as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by a medical transparency group. “The FDA has proposed to produce 500 pages per month, which, based on its calculated number of pages, would mean it would complete its production in nearly 55 years—the year 2076,” the FDA said in its request. “The acute need for transparency regarding this product is heightened by the fact that the secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the FDA’s parent department, has granted Pfizer complete immunity from financial liability for any injury caused by its product.”

The White House unveils “Peanut Butter” and “Jelly” as the two turkeys set to receive presidential pardons ahead of Thanksgiving, as this year’s turkey day feast is expected to cost more than last year, partly because of supply chain issues. Andrea Welp, who raised the turkeys, said, “Raising the presidential turkey flock has really been a lot of fun this year. As we all know, with another year of uncertainties with the pandemic, this project has really been something to look forward to.”

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