Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke on a panel regarding the opioid epidemic on Thursday at the University of Pennsylvania, as covered by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenney voiced support for a supervised injection site in Philadelphia despite opposition from residents of Kensington:
“It’s very, very difficult to explain to neighbors, this is a good thing, that we’re saving lives,” Kenney said. A supervised injection site, he added, is a place “to interact with social workers and addiction services. You can’t do that when a person is living” in a homeless encampment.
Biden and Bush directed attention towards concerns around the drug providers and doctors who overprescribe painkillers, ultimately sparking the opioid crisis nationwide. The Daily Pennsylvanian shares a summary of Biden’s commentary:
Biden decried the over-prescription of opioids by American doctors and the “greed” of drug companies. The former VP noted that the death tally from the current opioid crisis was larger than the American death toll from the Vietnam War.