Day: September 29, 2021

Background Briefing: September 29, 2021


DEA Warns Fentanyl-laced Counterfeit Drugs Sold on Sites Like SnapChat are Killing Thousands of American Teenagers

We begin with the warning from the Drug Enforcement Administration that 2 out of 5 counterfeit pills of Oxycodone, Adderall and Percocet sold by dealers online through SnapChat and other sites popular with teenagers are laced with fentanyl and are potentially lethal having caused close to 100,000 overdose deaths last year. Joining us is Sam Quinones, a journalist, author and storyteller whose acclaimed books include Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic and his latest, out in November, The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth. We discuss how in fentanyl, traffickers found a painkiller a hundred times more powerful than morphine which they could lace with cocaine, meth and counterfeit pills and market over the Internet to teenagers who often don’t have the tolerance for hard drugs. With drug traffickers acting like corporations and corporations like traffickers, we explore the role of the Chinese Communist government in not stopping the manufacture of fentanyl and its precursors and Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family as the initiators of the gateway drug that led to this ongoing opioid epidemic.


The Growing Use of Religious Exemptions by Anti-Vaxxers

Then with 70 million Americans still not vaccinated in the midst of the contagion of the lethal Delta strain of Covid, we will look into the growing use of religious exemptions by anti-vaxxers and speak with Anthea Butler, a Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her latest book is, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America and we discuss the lies underpinning the evangelical’s resistance to vaccines claiming they are manufactured from aborted fetuses even though the Pope and the Catholic Church have approved the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.


Trump’s Postmaster General Slows Down the Mail to Enrich His Company

Then finally we speak with Christopher Shaw, an author, historian, and policy analyst who is the author of Money, Power, and the People: The American Struggle to Make Banking Democratic and the forthcoming book First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat. He joins us to discuss his recent article at Foreign Affairs, “The U.S. Postal Service Was Designed to Serve Democracy” and how Trump’s postmaster general, who is under FBI investigation, is deliberately slowing down the mail in a shift from airmail to trucking that will enrich his former trucking company he holds a financial stake in.