J.D. Vance, who shot to fame as the author of the best-selling Hillbilly Elegy and is currently running as a Republican for an Ohio Senate seat, was harshly criticized for accusing Democratic President Joe Biden of trying to "kill a bunch of MAGA voters" with fentanyl to "punish" them.
In his remarks, Vance effectively blamed Biden on some level for an opioid crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives long before Biden ever took office.
Vance did not explain exactly how Biden could accomplish such a goal and there is no evidence at all that Democrats are victimizing and plying Republican voters with opioids laced with fentanyl.
You can hear what Vance said in the video below.
Speaking to Jim Hoft, founder of the far-right news site Gateway Pundit, Vance said:
“If you wanted to kill a bunch of MAGA voters in the middle of the heartland, how better than to target them and their kids with this deadly fentanyl?”
Vance went on to suggest that the Biden administration might be colluding with drug traffickers at the United States-Mexico border to bring more drugs into communities in the American heartland, saying:
"It’s really a border crisis that has gone all over the country."
"It does look intentional."
“It’s like Joe Biden wants to punish the people who didn’t vote for him, and opening up the floodgates to the border is one way to do it.”
Vance's claim that the Biden administration is allowing drugs to seep into the country is inaccurate.
According to United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), officers at eight South Texas ports of entry "seized a significant amount of narcotics, unreported currency, weapons and uncovered numerous immigration violations during Fiscal Year 2021."
The agency notes that there was "a 1,066 percent increase in fentanyl and a 98 percent increase in cocaine seized," indicating that there is far less fentanyl in the country–let alone in Republican communities–than Vance might suggest.
Vance was criticized for his remarks.
Adding to the absurdity of Vance's claim is the fact that he comes from a family that was torn apart by alcohol abuse and drug addiction.
in Hillbilly Elegy, which received significant press during the 2016 presidential election, he mentions that he was raised by his grandparents, who were alcoholics, because of his mother's drug addiction and her history of failed relationships.
The book was adapted into a film in 2020 that received a polarizing critical response and reignited a conversation in literary circles about generalizations Vance has made about the white working class, the impact of the opioid crisis on rural communities, and the reasons for their misfortune in comparison to his own success.