Rose Calls Out Donovan For Accepting Pharma Money

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (6)

Congressional candidate Max Rose (D) criticized his opponent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) this week for taking over $10,000 in donations from pharmaceutical executives who have been connected to fueling the opioid crisis in New York City and beyond.

Rose has laid out a detailed plan as to how he would combat the opioid problem if elected, which began with not taking donations from pharmaceutical companies.

The two executives who donated to Donovan are Philip Strassburger, a senior VP at Purdue Phrama, who has donated over $8,000 to Donovan since 2016, and Michael Friedman, who used to be the head of Purdue. Purdue is the maker of OxyContin.

Friedman and other former Purdue executives plead guilty to charges of misbranding OxyCotin in 2007.

Congressman Dan Donovan
Max Rose
Max Rose

“Dan Donovan is guilty of accepting thousands of dollars from the men and the company responsible for the country’s opioid epidemic. This is a slap in the face to every person who has had to administer Narcan to save a life, buried their child after it was too late, and especially to all of those who are still struggling with their addiction. Cashing those checks was a betrayal of Staten Island and South Brooklyn and he doesn’t deserve to represent us any longer,” Rose said.

Rose’s plan for combating the opioid problem includes preventing overdoses, getting victims the help they need and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions.

One focus of Rose’s plan is to increase funding for the expansion of clinics in Staten Island and South Brooklyn. He suggested legislation similar to the Ryan White CARE act, which was a bill passed in the 90s that gave funding for those living with HIV and AIDs in the United States.

“But while that legislation is being hammered out, I’ll work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to immediately increase funding HHS to get more comprehensive clinics and inpatient facilities opened in underserved areas, especially on Staten Island,” Rose said.

Rose said there is no single solution to solving the opioid crisis. He said it will require a heavy investment from the government to get the situation under control.

“I know this all sounds expensive, but we aren’t spending nearly enough on the opioids crisis as it is, and the economic fallout opioid abuse costs the country $250 billion every year. Most importantly, my neighbors and my constituents are dying. We can’t afford to not make this investment. We must demand a Congress willing to work across the aisle to address this crisis with every tool in their arsenal,” he said.

Rose is calling for an expansion in funding for DA offices, while the district attorney’s office is primarily funded by city tax levy appropriations, Congress can increase funding through expansions of grant programs, Rose said.

Locally, an increase in police resources to treat overdoses is also a necessity.

“On Staten Island, that means partnering with local organizations to raise public awareness, equipping the NYPD with Naloxone treatments, and treating overdose cases as crimes to bring those responsible to justice,” he said.

In response to Rose criticisms, Dan Donovan defended his stance on fighting the opioid crisis. He said his record will show for itself, such as passing 18 bills that he said take aim at the opioid epidemic.

“Like so many families across the district, addiction has touched Dan’s family personally, and he’s made fighting the war on drugs and alcohol a top priority throughout his entire career. While Max Rose wants to peddle in the kind of nasty, disingenuous attacks that the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn hate, Dan Donovan is going to keep doing his job delivering results,” said Donovan’s campaign spokesperson Jessica Proud.

“If Max Rose lived on Staten Island longer than five minutes, he would know this, but we will gladly compare our record of results–and his lack of one– on fighting the opioid epidemic any day of the week,” she added.

The general election is Nov. 6.