The Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, faced criticism from Senator Tom Cotton for her evaluation that “violent extremists” present a greater lethal risk to Americans than fentanyl.
Cotton asked, “On page 33, you write, transnational, racially, or ethnically motivated violent extremists continue to pose the most lethal threat to U.S. persons and interests. Are you serious? You seriously think that racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists are the most lethal threat that Americans face?”
Haines responded, “So, yes sir, in terms of..”
Cotton cut her off and pointed out, “How many people were killed by racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists in the United States last year?”
“I don’t have the exact number for you right here, but I will get it for you,” Haines responded.
“How many people were killed by fentanyl in the United States last year?” asked Cotton.
“As you know, it’s over 100,000 for fentanyl,” Haines said.
Senator @TomCottonAR slams Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines over her assessment that "violent extremists" pose a "more lethal" threat to Americans than fentanyl pic.twitter.com/zs0DJ9036W
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 8, 2023
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is prescribed for pain management. It is a very potent drug, approximately 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and is typically used for patients who have severe pain, such as those with cancer or those undergoing surgery. Fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the transmission of pain signals throughout the body.
However, due to its high potency, fentanyl can also be very dangerous and potentially deadly if misused or abused. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Fentanyl abuse can lead to overdose and death, especially when it is combined with other drugs or alcohol.
Illicit fentanyl is also produced and sold on the black market, often mixed with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine, which increases the risk of overdose.