Several key figures in the conservative movement have spoken out against President Joe Biden’s new plans to provide drug addicts with clean paraphernalia, but political commentator and The Five co-host Geraldo Rivera isn’t one of them. He faced off against Sean Hannity and contributor Dan Bongino on Hannity and made a surprising argument for Biden’s new program.
Fox News Host Geraldo Rivera Talks Controversial New Drug Program
This isn’t the first time Geraldo Rivera has publicly disagreed with his Fox News cohort Sean Hannity. Last summer, Rivera called Hannity out for his views on the January 6 riots that took place following the 2020 election. Now Rivera has pushed back against Hannity’s criticisms against a new program introduced by President Joe Biden’s administration that seeks to lower deaths associated with drug use.
As part of the program, centers will be opened where drug addicts are provided a safe space to use their illicit substances as well as provide them with clean, sterile paraphernalia like syringes and pipes. Already, these centers have already opened in two pilot locations, where positive results have been noted, but it remains a controversial program. This plan has provoked outrage amongst Republicans, who have argued that the Biden administration is essentially encouraging illicit drug use.
Conservatives Already Outraged Over Proposal
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee wrote the department of Health and Human Services and expressed “grave concerns” over the $30 million program. “Government-funded drug paraphernalia is a slap in the face to the communities and first responders fighting against drugs flowing into our country from a wide-open southern border,” Blackburn wrote in her letter. “If this is the president’s plan to address drug abuse, our nation is in serious trouble.” Rivera, however, sees the program in a different light.
On Tuesday’s episode of Hannity, Rivera sat down with fellow Fox News contributor Dan Bongino and the eponymous host to discuss the plan, which had Rivera’s reluctant support. He explained, “Believe me, I am not enthusiastic about this plan at all. But, Sean, you have to consider the fact — this is the question: Do junkies’ lives matter?”
Rivera Schools ‘Hannity’ Star On Overdose Deaths
Rivera then dove into the depressing statistics that occurred over the last year in regards to overdose deaths. He remarked, “We lost 100,000 Americans in the last one year to overdose deaths [between May 2020 and April 2021]. Fentanyl is everywhere, it’s in all of these drugs. They open these two pilot locations with a safe, secure, where the junkies can shoot up. They’ve saved 114 lives in six weeks.”
“There are therapists on site, as I understand it, in the pilot locations. There are sanitary conditions,” Rivera continued. “They come in with their own drugs. It is not that the government is giving them drugs.” Despite pushback from Hannity and Bongino, who argued in favor of jail time and treatment programs, Rivera stayed firm on his stance, which he pointed out has been informed from his years of covering drug epidemics.
“There have been treatment programs forever,” Rivera said. “I’ve been covering drugs since heroin, the epidemic, the first one. Then the crack and everything else that came after it. I’m like the Walter Cronkite of dope.” Hopefully the results of this program prove to be life-saving and life-changing for those suffering from addiction. Though the hosts somewhat derisively referred to these drug users as “junkies,” they have the same right to life and happiness as anyone else.
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