Eric Bolling, the former Fox News personality who lost his son to an opioid overdose in September, discussed the crisis that claimed his son’s life on the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) main stage Thursday.
Independent Women’s Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer interviewed Bolling, asking him what his son, Eric Chase Bolling’s, unexpected death as a University of Colorado sophomore impressed upon him.
“I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t think I’d be standing on this stage talking to you about this; I thought I’d be standing on stage talking to you about President Trump or something,” Bolling said, later claiming to have assembled 200,000 stories of the bereaved from the opioid crisis on his Twitter page.
Bolling called himself an “accidental expert” on the tidal wave of drug addiction and overdose that killed more Americans than automobile accidents in 2016. Number one for Bolling was knocking out what he called “not my kid syndrome.”
“Not my kid syndrome is dangerous and deadly. I can’t tell you how many parents have called me and said … ‘You know I had an A student and never thought it was gonna happen,” Bolling explained. “Opioids kill. They don’t care if you’re Black, White, Hispanic, boy, girl, gay, straight, young, old, rich, poor; they don’t care.”
CPAC followed up Bolling’s interview with a panel on the opioid crisis led by his former Fox colleague Greta Van Susteran. Andrew Bremberg, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, recently retired Democratic Gov. of Vermont Peter Shumlin, and Ohio Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor assembled to discuss solutions to the opioid crisis.
“This is an easy one to solve if we have the courage,” Schumlin said, putting blame primarily on big pharma and the federal regulators that allowed a massive increase in opioid painkiller perscriptions since the 1990s.
“Number one, the [Food and Drug Administration] FDA should revisit their decision about passing out painkillers like candy,” Shumlin continued, adding that he felt a new master settlement with drug companies similar to the one that saw the tobacco industry pay billions in the 1990s was needed.
Taylor was also critical of the medical profession’s focus on pain in the last generation. “We also have to foster and encourage non-addictive ways to treat pain,” she said.
Both Taylor and Bremberg were enthusiastically supportive of building President Donald Trump’s signature wall on the southern border to help stop the flow of illegal drugs – including Chinese fentanyl – into the United States.