Roughly 40 Percent of Americans Say They Recently Suffered Financial Difficulties, Study Shows

Soldiers assigned the Ohio National Guard’s HHC 1-148th Infantry Regiment – 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the Ohio Military Reserve, give the thumbs-up for troopers assigned to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, to send more vehicles through the line at a drive through food distribution event at the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, May 9, 2020. The food bank teamed up with the Ohio National Guard and the Highway Patrol to conduct the first-ever drive through event at the food bank. More than 700 Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve members were activated to provide humanitarian missions in support of Operation Steady Resolve COVID-19 relief efforts, continuing The Ohio National Guard’s long history of supporting humanitarian efforts throughout Ohio and the nation. To date, the Ohio National Guard has assisted in the distribution of more than 9.9 million pounds of food and pantry items to Ohioans in need. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker)

Over 40% of U.S. households said they experienced severe financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing difficulties paying bills, credit cards and draining their savings, according to a Harvard University report.

The survey conducted by the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Public Radio asked roughly 3,600 participants between July and August about problems they faced during the pandemic and how it affected their lives in recent months. Respondents were asked about financial, healthcare, education and personal safety concerns.

Roughly 30% of adults interviewed said they used up all or most of their savings during the pandemic, while 10% reported they had no savings before the pandemic began, according to the report.  About one in five households had difficulties paying credit cards, loans, and other debts as well as utilities.

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Commentary: House Democrats Want to Defund the Police (Again)

Capitol of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Word in Richmond is that the Virginia Senate — the more congenial of the two halves of the General Assembly — is looking to include the Virginia Republican idea that all law enforcement professionals should be extended a one-time $5,000 bonus.

House Democrats in the more rambunctious chamber are digging their heels in deep with a firm and potentially election hinging NO.

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Michigan Could Get $800 Million from Opioid Settlement

Close up of white pills

Michigan could receive $800 million under a proposed multibillion-dollar national opioid settlement, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

The settlement would involve Johnson & Johnson and the three largest pharmaceutical distributors in the country: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

The historic agreement would resolve the claims of state and local governments nationwide and require industry changes.

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15 States Reach Agreement, Pave Way for $4.5 Billion Settlement over Opioid Crisis

Spilled pill bottle with lid beside bottle

A coalition of 15 states agreed to a deal with drug maker Purdue Pharma, which could soon lead to a $4.5 billion settlement over the company’s role in the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The states agreed to no longer oppose Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy plan while the pharmaceutical company agreed to publicly release a trove of millions of documents, according to a court filing late Wednesday night. The Sackler family, which owns the company, would pay an additional $50 million under the settlement.

The agreement will be tacked onto a broader proposal that is set to be voted on by more than 3,000 plaintiffs, The New York Times reported. In addition to the states, plaintiffs include cities, counties and tribes that sued the company over its role in boosting its painkiller OxyContin, the cause of thousands of opioid deaths.

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Commentary: Researchers Urge Americans to Focus on Loneliness Epidemic

Woman sitting in a chair, looking out the window, alone

As the pandemic recedes and Americans re-enter public life, the surgeon general and other public health experts are urging the country to focus on another national crisis, one that has lingered for decades and worsened in recent years: loneliness.

For many, pandemic-related lockdowns, social distancing, and physical isolation resulted in their most severe experiences of loneliness. Studies have shown that an uptick in loneliness and other mental health issues coincided with the pandemic, and that lockdown requirements almost certainly exacerbated pre-existing mental conditions. But for researchers who have studied loneliness, the recent increase is only one notable event in an extensive history.

Loneliness is not just a crisis in America, but also in Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Australia and, increasingly, South America and Africa. Loneliness also occurs regardless of race, class, culture, and religion. Even before the lockdowns, tens of millions of people throughout the world felt isolated.

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Tennessee State Rep. Rusty Grills on His No Mandatory Vaccines and Protecting Individual Liberties

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Rep. (R) Rusty Grills to the newsmakers line to discuss his objectives before ending the Tennessee General Assembly’s current session and how he is committed to protecting the liberty of Tennesseans.

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AG Yost Reaches Nearly $25 Million Settlement with McKinsey for Role in Ohio’s Opioid Crisis

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has agreed to a settlement of nearly $25 million in a case with McKinsey & Co. for the company’s role in fueling and profiting from the opioid crisis in the state. 

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Commentary: The Opioid Epidemic from a Rural Prosecutor’s Perspective

I was at the end of a meeting with a mother whose child is a victim of the country’s opioid epidemic. “So, I’m trying to write about how the opioid epidemic is affecting us,” I informed her. She responded immediately: “It touches everyone, it’s everywhere. I mean, how did it get to this?”

“Where do I even start?”

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Report: Obama Administration Failed To Declare Fentanyl a National Emergency After Multiple Warnings

A groundbreaking report by the Washington Post has revealed that from 2013 to 2017, the Obama administration ignored, downplayed, or failed to act on multiple warnings that synthetic opioid deaths were becoming an epidemic in the country. In the most startling instance, 11 opioid medical experts pressed the administration to declare Fentanyl…

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Report: One in Three Children Enter Foster Care Due to Parental Drug Abuse, Ohio Rate Jumped 29 Percent

A report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Child Trends revealed that for the sixth consecutive year, 2017 saw a significant rise in the number of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse or drug seeking behavior. According to the report, 131 out of every 100,000 children in America ends up…

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An Ohio Medical Examiner Issued a Public Health Warning After Multiple Opioid Deaths Were Traced to Powerful Animal Sedatives

Dr. Thomas Gilson, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, issued a Public Health Warning Thursday for the entire county. It stated that, after testing opioids seized at multiple crime scenes, the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Science Laboratory had discovered a “significant increase” in the presence of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that is…

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Opioid Abuse Estimated to Leave Over 20,000 Children in Foster Care by 2020

While the rampant opioid epidemic that has overtaken much of the country is finally getting the attention it deserves, some of the most vulnerable to its effects have been tragically overlooked. A startling report from the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio estimates that, should current trends continue, over 20,000…

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