FRANKFORT, KY – Attorney General Daniel Cameron called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to help stop communist China and Mexican cartels from poisoning Americans with fentanyl. Today, General Cameron issued a letter to Secretary Blinken outlining how the State Department has failed to protect Americans from illicit fentanyl.
"Illicit fentanyl is one of the biggest public safety threats of our time, and I'm calling on the Biden Administration to treat it as such," said Attorney General Cameron. "Our Commonwealth has become accustomed to Washington's deafening silence on this issue, but Kentucky demands that federal leaders take meaningful action to save lives."
Fentanyl is one the leading causes of overdose deaths in the U.S., contributing to nearly 73% of overdose deaths in Kentucky and around 67% nationwide. Recent reports show that fentanyl-related deaths more than tripled in the U.S. over the last five years, and deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl kill nearly 200 Americans every day.
Most fentanyl is not made in America. In the letter, General Cameron explains how Mexican cartels are importing fentanyl precursors from China, using them to produce deadly synthetic opioids and smuggling these drugs across the southern border into our communities. Since October 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized more than 22,000 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill many times the population of the United States.
General Cameron points out that the State Department has lost the momentum the Trump Administration created in shutting down China's pipeline of finished fentanyl drugs. Kentucky's letter argues that Secretary Blinken should urge China to place all fentanyl precursors under a controlled regulatory regime and increase the monitoring and transparency around fentanyl chemicals leaving China.
"Your tepid and disjointed approach is worrisome," General Cameron reinforces. "While there are certainly many important issues for the United States and China to discuss, it is shameful that your State Department refuses to prioritize fentanyl."
This is Attorney General Cameron's latest action to stem the fentanyl epidemic poisoning Kentucky. Last September, he implored President Biden to classify fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. In February, Attorney General Cameron demanded that Secretary Blinken designate certain Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and in March, he sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland pressing the Department of Justice to reassess its law enforcement approach to the fentanyl crisis.
View a copy of the letter here.