During a Tuesday morning appearance on "The National Report," Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez told Newsmax that Mexican drug cartels are waging "an act of war" by flooding the United States with the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl.
"Look, fentanyl kills more people in that age range [18-45] than COVID, than auto crashes and suicides," the Republican congressman said. "It's a huge, huge problem, killing thousands and thousands of Americans this year, last year, and next year."
Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). And the amount of fentanyl pouring over the southern border is enough to kill every American seven times over, Gimenez said.
"It's almost an act of war that the cartels are really waging on the U.S.," he said. "Remember, we only lost 3,000 people during 9/11, and now we're killing tens of thousands of Americans with these fentanyl overdoses."
The United States' problem with the synthetic drug is going under the radar, according to Gimenez, because overdose deaths are spread out across the country.
"It's one here, one there, one there, but, when you add them all up, it's a huge number," he said.
Blaming the fentanyl influx on President Joe Biden's policies, Gimenez said that the Trump administration's policies were successful in getting control of the southern border.
"We need to go back to those policies," he said. "We need to finish the wall. You know, we're actually paying people not to build the wall, which is crazy."
"All this stuff coming through the southern border is being produced in China and then flows through the southern border with the cartels," he continued. "They use these hundreds of thousands of migrants that are coming through as a cover, either they divert our patrol agents because there's so many that are coming through one area and then they can flood through another area, or they're actually using them as mules."
The congressman also stressed the need for more Border Patrol agents and enforcement technology.
According to House Energy and Commerce Republicans, Democrats in the lower chamber blocked a bill earlier this month that would have given law enforcement the necessary tools to stem the flow of fentanyl into the country.
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