Senator Manchin Telling a Story

Senator Manchin has a million excuses for doing “nothing.” I am not sure why the rest of the Dems do not out him. Biden has negotiated with Manchin in private which I would not do as it leaves Manchin the ability to tell the story, a story each time he changes his mind.

There was a lot of hope for this administration as they had the majority in both bodies. One person is holding us back. Democrat in name only? Why? Maybe because if he were Republican, McConnell would show no leniency towards his stance(s). Be an independent? I am not sure he is that smart. As an independent, Manchin can not shift blame. With Democrats, he knows he can mislead and offer up the same old excuse of not being able to explain to his constituency. Maybe he should take notes?

Who is Manchin responsible to if not the people he supposedly represents?

West Virginia is or was #1 for opioid deaths in the US. A few years back before opioids became a big deal, I was asked to write on this topic by one organization. If you search on Angry Bear (opioids) you may find two bar charts showing overall deaths yearly by drugs and on that same bar chart deaths attributed to opioids by year also. It was developed by the Senate Joint Economic Committee. The importance of this chart (below) were the years corresponding with opioid deaths. With the introduction of Sadler’s Purdue OxyContin, you can see the growth in deaths starting with the OxyContin introduction. Some more data. West Virginia (1/2019) was #1 at 37.6 deaths/100,000.

Some more data. West Virginia (1/2019) was #1 at 37.6 deaths/100,000.

This isn’t occurring in the 1 million citizens of West Virginia largest city because WV has no cities that big. West Virginia has no cities larger than 100,000 or even 60,000. The state capital is probably the biggest city at ~50,000 with another city close to the same size. The state also has a negative population growth rate (right now) and the oldest population in the US.

Why would I pick on opioids to write about with regard to Manchin? Here is one example of Manchin “making stuff up” about the cause of one person dying from an opioid overdose. A young, beautiful, white, blonde-haired woman coming from a family of greater than average means. It is tragic as this young woman was starting from a base which would have enabled her to meet her goals of helping others. Manchin uses her story to vote “no” on the appointment of one person to the FDA.

Manchin is making stuff up about the vote on the approval of the time-released drug OxyContin. The tragedy was not in the approval of OxyContin which could help people if used in a prescribed manner. The tragedy was in the abuse of the Jick and Porter letter, doctors abusing the use of OxyContin, the blocking of state legislation, the backing of federal legislators, etc. All of which was promoted by Purdue and the Sadlers. You can see the increases in rates and numbers of death from opioids and drugs (separated) corresponding with the introduction of OxyContin.

Why the increase?

A 2017 NEJM article writes specifically about the abuse of the Porter and Jick Letter by Purdue and the rest of the industry in to sell OxyContin. “A 1980 Letter on the Risk of Opioid Addition.” And just a simple, altered sentence led people to believe you could not become addicted.

“We conclude that despite the widespread use of narcotic drug in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.”

The people promoting OxyContin struck the words “in hospitals” while pushing OxyContin. I sum it up here. Just how bad was the abuse of the letter?

The number of citations increased from 1996 through 2002 and descended till 2017. From 1980 onward till 2015 the letter was cited 5 to 28 (1996) times per year affirming Opioids addition is rare minus the words “hospital setting.”

The median number of citations of an article from a NEJM article is 11 times.

That is a little different story than what Manchin tells the Senate. So is Manchin making stuff up because he doesn’t know or is he lying on the Senate floor, to the nation, and to his constituents? If he were a dumb person, I would say he doesn’t really know. He is not a dumb person and he is using a tragedy to convey a lie about one person’s appointment to the FDA. This is the manner of the Senator from West Virginia. This was not just a tragedy of one person whose parents of whom he made the acquaintance. It is the tragedy of thousands of people who used OxyContin in an unsafe manner due to a lie, doctors over prescribing, and the ease in which OxyContin could be obtained.

I doubt the Democrats will ever get the complete endorsement from Manchin due to his being a chameleon. His color or opinion will change as needed to hide his true beliefs and himself.