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Hochul’s ineffective drug task force persists in its pattern

Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon recently criticized Gov. Kathy Hochul’s handling of the fentanyl crisis, pointing out her avoidance of the most difficult issues. Despite the rising number of drug overdose deaths and the presence of addicts on the streets, Hochul’s approach of “harm reduction” strategies is ineffective and actually encourages addiction. Hochul’s newly-formed OD-prevention task force is filled with so-called “experts” from state agencies but lacks the inclusion of those directly affected by the crisis, including officials, family members, and law enforcement representatives. McMahon called out Hochul for her failure to address this issue and for creating a farce of a task force. Hochul previously vetoed a bill to establish a state task force on combating fentanyl and promised to create her own, which has now been exposed as inadequate. The task force lacks individuals who have personal experience with drug abuse. The governor’s approach to addressing the crisis involves internal discussions and self-auditing by her staff, which McMahon believes is just an attempt to tick a box and does not truly address the pain and suffering experienced by Staten Islanders. While some advocate for a “harm reduction” approach, McMahon criticizes it as the wrong focus, emphasizing the need to discourage drug use altogether. He argues that the task force is doomed to fail without the inclusion of individuals who have firsthand experience with the devastating effects of drug abuse. The current approach of the public-health bureaucracy is inadequate despite the urgency of the situation. McMahon warns against the progressive logic that leads to the legalization of drugs, suggesting that a combination of support and strict measures is necessary to combat the crisis effectively. He urges New York and the nation to actively fight against fentanyl and other drugs, rather than passively accepting their presence.

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