On the way to West Virginia Thursday night, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren held an impromptu town meeting in a people mover at the airport. A fellow passenger asked her why she was going to Kermit, West Virginia, she explained she was going to talk about the opioid crisis there, and that it's about "holding the executives at these drug companies liable for what they did."
In Kermit, that's just what she did. Why Kermit? Mayor Charles Spark explained, calling his town ground zero for the crisis, and saying that "the town is still recovering from when 10,000 pills flowed from a local pharmacy daily."
"Today, 191 people will die from a drug overdose," Warren told the crowd at the Kermit Fire and Rescue Station. "That's like a plane crash. And it'll happen tomorrow. And it'll happen the day after that and the day after that." She explained that it is a "medical problem" that "needs a medical solution, and I've got a plan for that." She does have a plan for that, and it does include criminal prosecution for CEOs.
"We need to hold those executives personally liable. I'm talking handcuffs and perp walks," she said in Kermit. "People didn't get addicted all on their own, they got a lot of corporate help. … They got a lot of help off of corporations that made big money on getting people addicted and keeping them addicted." So when it comes time to fix that, "My view is you're not the ones who should pay for it, it's the people who made the profits who should pay for it," she told them.
Her tax on ultramillionaires will pay for it, for treatment and research and professional training and recovery. She has a plan for all of it.