Former Fox News personality Eric Bolling warned parents about failing to discuss the dangers of opioids as he personally copes with the loss of his son, Chase, who died from an overdose last September at the age of 19.
Bolling has been sharing his story wherever he can, including on social media and a summit about the opioid epidemic at the White House on Thursday, in hopes of keeping others from facing this kind of tragedy.
“I had a lot of parents tweeting me and saying, ‘You know what? My son — he was just the captain of the soccer team’ or ‘My daughter was an A student’ or ‘My son or daughter was king or queen of the prom’ — whatever — and they’re dead now,” Bolling said in an interview on Breitbart News Saturday with Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle on SiriusXM Patriot 125.
“Opioids don’t care if you’re a brilliant scholar or someone who gets Ds and Fs — if you’re [a] white/black male, female, or rich/poor; they don’t care,” Bolling said. “They kill with indiscrimination.”
“I’ve said this at every appearance I’ve made: not my kid syndrome,” Bolling said. “Not my kid syndrome is deadly; it’s dangerous.”
Bolling shared the agony he and his wife have gone through since they received a late-night call that their son had died from what they would later learn was ingesting Xanax laced with Chinese fentanyl.
“He had no idea it was going to kill him,” Bolling said.
Bolling said the response after he shared his story about Chase on Twitter was overwhelming.
“My Twitter account went from 700,000 to a million in five-and-a-half months,” Bolling said. “That’s because people are coming here to find out information, to talk about awareness, to talk about their story.”
Bolling said one of the people who reached out to him after his son died was President Donald Trump. Trump called him again just before the family sat down for a Thanksgiving meal to say he was thinking of the hardship of facing the first holiday without Chase.
“At that moment, I realized he really had some empathy and caring about this issue, for me and parents who are losing kids or could lose kids,” Bolling said. “And I said, ‘Mr. President, if I come to D.C., … we’ll just have a little talk about what’s going on.’”
“He said, ‘Absolutely, come,’” Bolling said.
During the following months, Bolling met and discussed the issue with White House officials and helped shape last week’s White House summit, including providing a video that featured, among other things, Bolling sharing his son’s story.
Bolling said eight Cabinet members attended the summit, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Plans to combat the opioid epidemic were laid out at the summit, and the Trump administration is asking for a $13 billion package focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Bolling also said he got to speak with a State Department official at the summit with whom he shared his concern that much of the deadly fentanyl comes from China. The deputy said the United States is working with the Chinese government to shut down the illegal operations that are making the drug there.
He also stated that the pharmaceutical companies that are pushing opioids for pain control should be held accountable.
“We need to really tie up the ends on who’s getting pills and how many,” Bolling said. “We just have to do that.”
When asked what his next step is following his departure from his job with Fox News because of alleged sexual misconduct years ago, Bolling said he does not know.
“I don’t know what the next step is,” Bolling said. “Right now, my son’s gone.”
“I’m still grieving greatly with my wife,” Bolling added. “I’ll let the good Lord light the path in front of me.”
“I don’t know what it is right now at all,” Bolling said.
Listen to the full interview below: