In the fight to stem the nation’s opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump‘s drug commission – with Attorney General Pam Bondi as a member – came up with more than 50 ideas, involving a dozen federal agencies.
Nevertheless, Sam Baker of Axios notes, without a national “drug czar,” there is no one directing the effort – and no accountability for its progress (or lack thereof).
Although a policy-based “czar” can be a “bit of a gimmick” at times, Baker says success will be achieved only when one person has the broad authority to lead a far-reaching national opioid strategy.
And Bondi would be the perfect person for the job.
Yale public health professor David Fiellin tells Axios: “It seems it would be worthwhile to have a separate individual that’s focused exclusively on the tasks that are required to fight the current epidemic.” Fiellin led the task force to develop Connecticut’s strategy for the opioid epidemic.
Among the highlights of Bondi’s seven-year career as Attorney General was a widespread no-nonsense crackdown of pill mills and addiction across the state. During that time, Florida shuttered clinics where doctors illegally prescribed oxycodone and other opioids. It was in the shadow of those successes that helped ensure her re-election in 2014.
Who better than Bondi, a longtime Trump supporter, to be drug czar?
While the Office of National Drug Control Policy has a lot on its plate, no director has yet been put up for Senate confirmation. Time is running out; with no one in charge, the problem is only getting worse.
The country needs a drug czar right now. And this point, Bondi – with her extensive knowledge and experience on the issue – would be an excellent fit.