The Huffington Post Wants to "Fight Hate" by Letting People Die
More Americans died last year from drug over-doses than were killed in the entirety of the Vietnam War; of the over 70,000 overdoses, at least 47,000 of those have been attributed to opioids, yet in volume and pitch, the opioid crisis in this country barely registers compared to the AIDS and crack “epidemics” of the 1980s and 1990s. For all Americans, the mortality rate for drug overdoses in 2016 was 19.8 per 100,000, an increase from 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015. The drug-related mortality rate per 100,000 in 2016 for whites was 25.3, blacks 17.1, and Hispanics 9.5, meaning whites were roughly 50% and 167% more likely to die from drug overdoses than blacks and Hispanics, respectively. From the CDC:
During 2006, there were 2,088 drug overdose deaths involving heroin (age-adjusted rate of 0.7 per 100,000 population); during 2015, there were 12,989 deaths (age-adjusted rate of 4.1). The rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin increased slightly during 2006–2010 but more than tripled during 2010–2015; the rates increased from 1.2 to 3.8 per 100,000 for persons aged 15–24 years, from 2.2 to 9.7 for persons aged 25–34 years, from 1.6 to 7.4 for persons aged 35–44 years, from 1.4 to 5.6 for persons aged 45–54 years, and from 0.7 to 3.4 for persons aged 55–64 years. In 2015, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin was highest for persons aged 25–34.
Indeed, things have been going so well for whites in this country that heroin overdoses among Millennials aged 24-35 quadrupled in the time period 2010-2015. One out of every 12 deaths among people aged 25-34 during that time period can be blamed on heroin. Since then, things have deteriorated exponentially. What happened? As Alex Berezow writes:
First, because people were abusing and becoming addicted to opioids like OxyContin, a new “abuse-proof” version of the drug came out in August 2010. The pills could no longer be crushed into a powder for snorting or injection; instead, it squashed into a gooey mess. So, problem solved, right? Nope. Opioid addicts switched to other drugs, like heroin. Second, like all street drugs, heroin is dangerous. As our resident chemist Dr. Josh Bloom has discussed extensively, high-potency fentanyl is often mixed with or substituted for heroin. A few grains of it is enough to be lethal. Therefore, as is the case with so many well-intentioned actions, abuse-proof opioids have made a bad problem even worse.
In the last three to four years, the even deadlier synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have edged out heroin. Deaths from fentanyl increased a whopping 45% from 2016 to 2017 alone. Of the over 42,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2016, 33,450 of the victims (79%) were white. The brunt of the opioid epidemic’s toll has been felt most heavily in vulnerable populations, particularly those in economically depressed and rural areas of the country. Consider that from 2000 to 2016, rural America’s aggregate share of GDP declined from 46% to 36%. This economic dispossession and decline is in no small part responsible for the spiking deaths-by-despair among white men in this country. Whites are now more likely to die from either opioid overdoses or suicide than from car accidents. Further, for whites, there are roughly 6 suicides for every 1 homicide; among blacks, there are about 3.5 homicides for each suicide; and the rate ratio among Hispanics is roughly 1:1, with suicide slightly edging out homicide. The suicide rate in rural America (largely white) increased over 40% from 1999-2015. The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young whites; 25-year-old white women experienced an average increase in mortality of 3% every year over that time period, while 25-year-old white men had an average annual increase of 1.9%. Mortality rates also went up for whites in the age groups 40 to 50 and 62 to 64. Every other ethnic group, save Amerindians, experienced declines in mortality for all ages over the same time period.
We constantly hear about “under-served communities” in the inner cities, but the rural population of America is being decimated and from our leadership to the media, no one says a word. As Revilo P. Oliver wrote, “We all know what happens when men betray their country. But what happens when a country betrays its men?” Here in America, opiates are the opium of the masses, and deaths-by-despair continue to skyrocket in all that red space between the “enlightened blue metropolises” where they at least feign concern and compassion for everyone but their fellow citizens.
Nestled near the foot of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Patrick County, Virginia, is but one of many places in America whose people bear their terrible burden in silence. Patrick County is 90% white, most of its people employed in manufacturing, construction, maintenance, and other labor-intensive fields. The median household income is $36,000 compared to the state of Virginia average of over $66,000. The poverty rate of the United States as a whole is 12.3%, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 estimates, whereas in Patrick County that number is a whopping 22.2%.
Alex J. McNabb, a fixture on The Right Stuff and committed first responder, volunteers his time as an EMT in this under-served county critically low on health care providers and EMS coverage. Patrick County has only two ambulance units in service, one of which has serious mechanical issues. The agency McNabb works for has been forced to borrow ambulances in the past year just to respond to calls. As McNabb says, Patrick County, “Suffers from shortages of personnel so severe that call coverage has become interrupted.” Patrick County’s only hospital closed in 2017; consequently, as Paul Collins writes:
Patrick County officials have said that since the hospital closed, rescue squads have had to drive residents outside of Patrick County to receive treatment. Depending on where people live in Patrick County, a trip to SOVAH Health’s Martinsville campus can be a at least 35 minutes and a trip to Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital in Rocky Mount can be as long as 45 to 50 minutes. That causes problems for patients being taken for treatment and increases the rescue squad’s response times to other incidents.
The license extension for that hospital, by the way, was blocked by the Democrats in Virginia as a political bargaining chip. This is of no concern to partisan hacks like Huffington Post reporter Chris Mathias, who in July reached out to McNabb’s employer to confirm McNabb’s employ and responsibilities. To what end, we do not necessarily know, but given the publication’s treatment of Amy Mekelburg, Mathias’s obsession with cataloguing “white supremacists,” and the media’s “imperative” of activism and doxxing in lieu of actual reporting, we can reasonably speculate, and it’s not good. Perhaps coincidentally (I reached out to Mathias for comment but did not receive a response), an anonymous complaint against McNabb was filed with the Virginia Department of Emergency Medical Services shortly thereafter (McNabb was not found to be in violation of any EMS regulations).
If indeed it was Mathias or one of his associates who lodged this false accusation against McNabb in order to get another “scalp,” and if McNabb’s employer responded by penalizing McNabb for his political beliefs rather than any actual wrong-doing, which happens to those who ideologically step out of line almost daily now, it is sadly just another example of the media not as a check on power, but as an extension of that power, a cudgel with which to hammer dissidents and ruin their lives; even if it means people will die as a consequence, this is of no concern for the privileged commentariat, safe in their cozy mid-town apartments. As McNabb writes:
Now if [Mathias] had his way, which obviously involves getting regulators, employers and agencies to fire me so he could then write a triumphant smear piece, people would actually have died in this county because that’s just how bad the personnel crisis and transport distance is. If Mathias got his way, and I wasn’t working as an EMT, there is a patient who unquestionably would have died earlier this year. I was the only provider within 30 miles able to start an IV and push D50; had I not been there, the outcome would have been tragic….“Journalists” are more than welcome to interview me at any time regarding my professional occupation and the plight of rural regions with hospital closures and paper thin EMS coverage. In fact, if they are so concerned, perhaps they’d like to help raise funds for my agency: Send donations to PO Box 340, Patrick Springs, Virginia, 24133. Make them out to “Jeb Stuart Rescue.”