The Fox News show "Fox and Friends" promoted the notion that President Donald Trump's proposed border wall between U.S. and Mexico would help stop the opioid crisis in the U.S. on June 28 (video below).
Co-host Brian Kilmeade helped introduce the segment: "President Trump has made ending this epidemic a key issue in this administration, starting with the building of a border wall."
Kilmeade asked Printus LeBlanc, of the conservative Americans for Limited Government: "What do you think the wall would do to stop this opioid crisis. Of course, there’s no quick fix. But this would fix a lot, how?"
LeBlanc said Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border "would help quite a bit," but was not the single solution to stopping opioids.
LeBlanc added: "But what this does is stem the flow of opioids."
"Fox and Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt noted that Americans are normally prescribed opioid painkillers by doctors, but LeBlanc said after those prescriptions run out, people are addicted and buy opioid-based heroin.
LeBlanc said Trump's wall would drive up the price of opioid drugs, which would slow down the influx of drugs and thus cause addicts to suddenly start searching for treatment.
LeBlanc opined that a wall would narrow down the areas through which opioids could be smuggled, and that smugglers would subsequently be caught by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Earhardt stated that $64 billion worth of opioids are smuggled in by cartels, while the border wall would cost $10 to $20 billion.
Earhardt said: "If you look at the numbers, it just makes sense to build the wall."
LeBlanc said the border wall would cost a baseline of $25 billion, and noted that a recent study showed that opioid addictions cost the U.S. $50 billion per year.
Kilmeade, Earhardt and LeBlanc barely touched on the staggering number of opioid drugs that are legally manufactured and distributed throughout the U.S. by American pharmaceutical companies.
The Economist reported in April that legal prescription opioid drug sales nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2014.
The Atlantic noted on June 7 that 793 million doses of opioids were legally prescribed in Ohio in 2012, which was enough to provide 68 pills to every man, woman, and child in the state. About 20 percent of the Ohio residents were legally prescribed an opioid in 2016. Ohio leads the U.S. in opioid overdose deaths, and some coroners offices in the state don't have room to store the corpses.
In response to the opioid crisis, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit on May 31 against Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions, Allergan PLC and Watson Pharmaceuticals for trivializing "the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for chronic pain."
The lawsuit also accused the pharmaceutical companies of lobbying doctors to influence their beliefs about opioid safety.
There have also been other lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies in Mississippi, Illinois, two counties in California, four counties in New York, the city of Everett, Washington, and the Cherokee Nation.
In March, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri started an investigation into how the leading drug painkiller manufacturers -- Purdue Pharma, Depomed, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Insys Therapeutics and Mylan -- helped fuel the opioid epidemic, noted The Economist.
Sources: Fox News, The Atlantic, The Economist / Photo Credit: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons, Fox News Channel/Wikimedia Commons, Spud of Inside Cable news/Wikimedia Commons