NEW YORK, N.Y.- Some things you simply cannot make up. The New York Post is reporting that in New York City, health workers affiliated with the city have begun delivering methadone free of charge to opioid addicts.
At a time when both New York City and the State of New York are attempting to get bail out money from the federal government, the city is spending money on assisting drug addicts deal with their addictions.
The city’s Health Department announced the initiative Tuesday, rolling out the program after a “soft launch” last month. They have also the age of eligibility from 65 to 50.
Health commissioner Oxiris Barbot, who recently said she “didn’t give two rats’ asses” about New York City police officers, said, “Methadone is a life-saving medication,” in a prepared statement. “Life saving medication” for drug addicts, no potentially life-saving PPE for police officers. Got it.
“New Yorkers who take methadone and get sick from COVID-19 should not have to choose between getting their medication and protecting their health and the health of others.”
Fox News said that up until recently, federal regulations barred home delivery of methadone. But as with many things during the current pandemic, rules were changed. An emergency loosening of the rules for addicts was implemented for those who test positive for the disease, show symptoms or are at high risk if they get infected, according to the Health Department.
The deliveries, which will be made curbside, will be carried out by teams of two workers, each who have been specially trained and will be outfitted with PPE such as masks, plus hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. It is expected that the city will make about 1,300 deliveries a month to addicts’ homes, as well as taxpayer-funded hotels.
The program will provide seven days’ worth of the drug to addicts, as well as an oral pain reliever which is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms for addicts enrolled in treatment programs.
Ironically, the program was announced just one day after Barbot apologized for her snarky and short-sighted comment to the Chief of Department of the NYPD about his request for masks for his officers.
The announcement was met by criticism from elected officials, with State. Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island calling it “a real doozy.”
“What this says is these people aren’t worth fighting for. The city has given up on these people and saying they’re going to live out the rest of their lives as addicts,” said Lanza.
As a former prosecutor in Manhattan, he says that addicts should be taken off of drugs, not encouraged to take more.
“I think it’s disgusting.”
Likewise, City Councilman Eric Ulrich called the methadone program an example of “misplaced priorities.”
“The Department of Health should be delivering COVID testing kits to communities hardest hit by the virus.”
“While people struggling with opioid addiction need our help and compassion, dropping off methadone doses like care packages is a recipe for disaster,” Ulrich said.
“These drugs should be dispensed and administered in clinics and facilities that can provide a range of services.”
Another councilman was equally critical of the program, with Joe Borelli, also of Staten Island saying that the program “underscores the problems associated with methadone dependency that have been known for many years. We need to get out of the methadone business overall.”
Among police interests, the head of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association slammed the program, calling it “unbelievable.”
“You can’t make this up,” said Ed Mullins. “For a city that claims to have no money, it’s interesting how de Blasio continues to spend money on dysfunctional programs. This is just more dysfunction on top of dysfunction.”
City officials disputed Mullins’ claim, saying that methadone is paid for by Medicaid or insurance. There was no indication as to who was paying for the delivery portion of the program.
Councilman Robert Holden of Queens is concerned that the program will turn into a cluster.
“While good intentioned, I’m concerned with Mayor de Blasio’s historic indifference to potential consequences with most of his experiments. The point of a methadone clinic is that there are qualified aids who ensure that patients take the medication on a daily basis. I don’t see how this could be replicated on a delivery basis, and I believe it will only invite fraud, waste and abuse,” Holden said.
Fraud, waste, and abuse—but let’s have the federal government bail them out.
Report: San Francisco health department providing free alcohol and drugs to homeless in hotels
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Thomas Wolf, who goes by “T Wolf” on Twitter, is a former homeless addict. He describes himself as “advocating for the #truth about homelessness and drug addiction.”
Wolf told reporters that he had heard from a former street acquaintance that alcohol, cannabis and tobacco were being delivered to the hotels that were provided for homeless people during the pandemic.
Wolf told KRON:
“He said they were bringing him alcohol and weed.”
He also posted on Twitter:
“I just found out that homeless placed in hotels in SF are being delivered Alcohol, Weed and Methadone because they identified as an addict/alcoholic for FREE. You’re supposed to be offering treatment. This is enabling and is wrong on many levels.”
These harm reduction based practices, which are not unique to San Francisco, and are not paid for with taxpayer money, help guests successfully complete isolation and quarantine and have significant individual and public health benefits in the COVID-19 pandemic.
— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) May 5, 2020
San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) has since confirmed the practice via Twitter, saying:
“These harm reduction based practices, which are not unique to San Francisco, and are not paid for with taxpayer money, help guests successfully complete isolation and quarantine and have significant individual and public health benefits in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Twitter has not been kind to the SFDPH regarding the practice.
Pointing out that the department did not officially say who would in fact be paying for the services, Maria Vargas said:
“Maybe not directly by taxpayers but it’s tax deductible donations, Government grants etc., correct? we’re talking semantics here. Selective facts.”
To this, someone with the Twitter handle Yourmansandthem said:
“Exactly. Also going to guess the people who donated to help the homeless didn’t know this is what their money would be going to.”
Gale Connor said:
“And people wonder why SF has become a magnet for transients from all across the state and beyond. Free hotel rooms with room service that includes booze and weed. Wow! Just wow!”
SF providing medications, alcohol, cannabis to some people isolating in leased hotel rooms https://t.co/nF4dmykhaG
— Kevin Fagan (@KevinChron) May 6, 2020
Wolf does not condone the practice and has said that this type of treatment is not treatment at all, and that it’s enabling the bad habits.
“Has he been examined by a medical professional or were they just asked a series of questions? Because if it was me and I was addicted, I would answer yes to everything.
Yes I want everything, yes I’m a heroin addict, yes I’m an alcoholic, yes I need weed for anxiety and boom there you go. To me that’s blurring the lines between harm addiction and enabling.”
It’s been noted that the purpose of this practice is to ensure those who are addicted to the aforementioned substances remain indoors and don’t venture out to obtain them.
SFDPH said that the people put in the hotel rooms are screened several times to determine what the person would be “uncomfortable” without having. They also said that they’re offered “support and counseling” if they want to try to quit.
The story has hit the local news. https://t.co/o8TCqgs6zi
— T Wolf (@MyTwolffamily) May 6, 2020
The program’s Dr. Grant Colfax said:
“With regard to supporting people who are at risk, or who need to be in quarantine or isolation because they’re COVID positive, our focus needs to be on supporting them. Meeting them where they are so that they can be cared for in the most appropriate way. In the way that’s good for them and for our community.
Our focus is using the best evidence to help people manage their addiction and in some cases, this will include helping to manage their alcohol use and their nicotine years so they can stay safe and in place as much as possible to help their community and to help themselves.
Our philosophy in terms of treating those who suffer from addiction, substance use disorders is really again focused on science and the medical literature.”
In a statement, SFDPH said:
“Managed alcohol and tobacco use makes it possible to increase the number of guests who stay in isolation and quarantine and, notably, protects the health of people who might otherwise need hospital care for life-threatening alcohol withdrawal.”
The story made the NY Post. Whether you agree or not, it sure is fostering a lot of debate and that's a good thing. You're welcome. 😉https://t.co/KyOzvf5Z54
— T Wolf (@MyTwolffamily) May 7, 2020
The department also said that those “who would get the shakes without it” are given “the minimum medically appropriate amount” of alcohol with meals.
Jenna Lane, a spokesperson from the department, told reporters:
“They’re doing San Francisco a great service by staying inside. We’re saying, ‘We’re doing what we can to support you staying inside and not have to go out and get these things.’”
In other news, liberal judges are using COVID-19 as an excuse to free detained illegal immigrants.
Law Enforcement Today brought you that story last week, and here is it again.
This editorial perspective on Tom Homan’s interview is brought to you by a former police chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
Tom Homan does not pull any punches. The former acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is convinced that liberal judges are using the current coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to free detained illegal “immigrants,” which he says is endangering the public.
Most famously, Homan is remembered for biting back at far-left Democrats at a hearing last year when the topic was ICE and the treatment of so-called “asylum seekers.”
Homan was being grilled by “squad” members Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who were hurling insults at Homan and ICE during the hearing. Homan was having none of it and let Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez have it.
Afterward, in an appearance on Fox Nation, Homan said, “I wish I would have let her know, this hearing is a joke,” Homan said speaking about AOC. “It’s a circus, you’re the head clown.”
In an Op-Ed on Fox News, Homan said that judges have been issuing rulings that he describes as “dangerous and disturbing” which he believes puts public safety at risk.
He also said that the rulings set “impossible detention conditions for illegal immigrants,” which also included those who might commit new crimes in the United States when they are released.
Whenever a radical judge makes a ruling and it is then held up on appeal, these rulings set a precedent which is then able to be used by other judges down the road. This in effect enables the judiciary to overturn laws that have been passed by Congress and the president.
In a case in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria issued an emergency order which seeks to establish a process which would consider the release of 400 illegal immigrants at two ICE facilities in California.
Earlier last week, Chhabria ruled that ICE “has not come close to achieving social distancing” for illegals at two detention facilities.
It should be noted that no detainees at either of the two facilities—Yuba County Jail in Marysville and Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center in Bakersfield—had tested positive for COVID-19.
However, this judge, an Obama appointee, has said that the facilities need to cut their populations in order to enable detainees to maintain a social distancing of six feet at all times to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Chhabria’s ruling came after Thursday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke in Miami, FL. She ordered the release of newly all of the detainees being housed at three ICE facilities in Florida. Honestly, what could possibly go wrong?
According to the Miami Herald, Cooke said that ICE failed in its “duty to protect the safety and general well-being” of detainees in facilities where authorities were unable to maintain social distancing.
The judge apparently did not concern herself with the “safety and general well-being” of the public who would now be exposed to criminal illegal immigrants.
In yet another case in California, Los Angeles U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter, a Jimmy Carter appointee (Carter’s last year in office was 1980 FYI), last week ordered a mass release of illegal immigrants, including many with significant criminal convictions.
The jail where they were being held—the Adelanto Detention Center- has also reported no cases of COVID-19. While the jail was designed to hold 2,000 people, it only currently holds 1,300, which negates the claim that it is overcrowded.
In Hatter’s ruling, he only ordered that the population has to be reduced by several hundred people without being specific as to how many. He ordered that the population had to be reduced “to such a level that would allow the remaining detainees to maintain a social distance of six feet from each other at all times and six feet from the detention officers.”
Think of the abject absurdity of that last statement: “Six feet from the detention officers?” How would the judge propose that happen?
Homan states that these federal judges are “demanding an unreasonable standard of spacing for any jail, prison or any other detention facility to meet.”
That is obvious. Judges are setting the standard so high that unless there is a mass release of detainees system-wide, this is a goal that is impossible to meet. Included in some of those who benefit from a mass release would be those who pose a serious threat to public safety.
Hatter’s ruling said that any criminals set to be released should not be prioritized, however with the benchmark that has been set, some convicted criminals or those with pending charges would have to be released, since according to Homan 89% of ICE arrests fit either of those categories.
Homan notes that Adelanto, which is run by a contractor for ICE, maintains extremely high detention standards, and is clean and safe. The expectation that a jail or prison could be expected to provide facilities akin to a hotel suite is absurd.
In Massachusetts, a federal judge ordered the release of illegal immigrants because of coronavirus. One of the released inmates was a convicted sex offender who had been convicted of rape. Not a “low-level crime,” but rape. But hey, at least the inmates are safe from COVID-19.
This COVID-19 situation is like a progressive’s dream. In the time period of only two months, they have seen mass release of prisoners, circumvention of too many constitutional amendments to count, and the economy eviscerated, which under normal circumstances would doom an incumbent presidential candidate.
Heck, some “news” channels have actually celebrated the fact that there was perhaps a “silver lining” in the pandemic.
Homan says that these legal actions, if implemented nationally, which is always a possibility unless the Supreme Court steps in, would cause yet another run on our border. The fact that immigration laws are getting basically emasculated would serve as an inducement for illegals to try to gain entry to the country.
Prior to these rulings that have been coming down, ICE detention facilities had already proactively been taking steps to protect detainees. Guidance was sent out to ICE facilities using recommendations by both the CDC and the WHO.
Homan notes that best practices had been put in place for the prevention, assessment and management of the virus.
In addition, he said that employees and detainees at Adelanto had been given guidance on preventative measures to avoid spreading of COVID among the facility populations. In addition, the facilities have added new intake measures to include specific screening indicators for COVID-19.
Additional steps taken include the sterilization of high-contact areas of the facilities by specialized sanitation teams.
Non-essential visitation was limited just as occurred in hospitals and rehabilitation and nursing facilities across the nation. Emergency plans for managing COVID-19 has also been implemented.
All inmates and staff at Adelanto have been issued masks as a precautionary measure, despite zero cases of COVID at that location.
ICE detention centers have extensive experience in their service providers, and Homan notes they have “unparalleled experience with the implementation of best practices for the prevention, assessment and management of infectious diseases,” due in part to their vast experience with such diseases coming across the border.
Homan also said that a majority of ICE’s larger contractor-run detention facilities have nearly doubled the number of healthcare staff in comparison to local, state and federal facilities. Many contract facilities also have “negative pressure rooms,” also known as airborne infection isolation rooms, contained in their medical wings.
Homan argues that detainees will in fact be safer in ICE facilities, with a controlled population, as well as immediate access to doctors and medical care.
Clearly, what we have here is a load of judges with an agenda—to overturn the immigration policies of the Trump administration. These are rogue judges who instead of using the rule of law and judicial precedent are implementing their own agendas.
Never let a crisis go to waste…liberal judges have taken this to heart.
It seems like in the interests of “safety” we are sacrificing everything else we hold close in this country…freedom, liberty, the rule of law.
Hopefully, someone takes these judges down a peg or two—either the Department of Justice or the Supreme Court. If we thought things were bad before, once illegals realize that the hands of ICE and law enforcement officials have been tied behind their backs, it will be that anything goes. And that will make our country a whole lot less safe in the long run.
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