Priorities: Defense Dept. Holds Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion “Summit” As Military Fentanyl Overdoses Surge
While military personnel endure a surge of fentanyl overdoses and a whistleblower exposes medical incidents potentially due to the COVID vaccine, DOD dedicates itself to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In an article entitled “‘You Can’t Fix the Problem If You’re in Denial:’ The Military’s Surge of Fentanyl Overdoses,” Military.com tells the story of Carole De Nola, whose son Ari McGuire, “a 23-year-old reconnaissance scout with Fort Bragg’s storied 82nd Airborne Division,” died of a fentanyl overdose.
[O]n a Friday night in August 2019, De Nola got a call from an Army officer: Her son was on life support in a Fayetteville, North Carolina, hospital. Ari’s heart had stopped beating while riding in an Uber, coming through the gate at Fort Bragg. An ambulance had managed to revive him, and Ari was induced into a coma upon arriving at the hospital.
De Nola, her husband Joseph, and the cantor from their synagogue had made the daylong trek from California to North Carolina to say goodbye to Ari. “When we got there, the doctor told us that there was nothing they could do. I’m sure that the whole hospital heard me screaming.”
Unfortunately, statistics show that Ari is not alone. His death was one of 332 fatal overdoses within the military, according to information newly released by the Pentagon on ODs between 2017 and 2021. That five-year period also saw 15,000 non-fatal ODs among the active-duty force. Fort Bragg is a known drug “hot spot“; “Thirty-four soldiers died at the base between 2017 and 2021; it also saw a 100% increase in drug crime over 2021. Those deaths account for more than 10% of the total fatalities reported by the military.”
Gil Cisneros, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, stated in a letter accompanying the new fentanyl statistics that “[w]e share your concern that drug overdose is a serious problem and must be addressed.” But “De Nola said that she doesn’t feel that the military has done enough.” Others agree.
Alex Bennett, a professor at NYU’s School of Public Health who has led several studies addressing opioid-use among military veterans, stated that “what we have in the military is sort of an epidemic that’s not fully acknowledged.”
And Racheal Bowman, whose 20-year-old son, an Army soldier, also died of a fentanyl overdose, said “I really wish that they would just talk about it. You can’t fix the problem if you’re in denial about its existence. The Army just needs to stand up and acknowledge the fact that fentanyl is a problem.”
Also in the news this week is a report of a whistleblower, Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Long, an Army Flight Surgeon, who discovered a 1700% increase in reportable medical incidents among military aviators from 2019-2022, compared to the 2016 -2019 baseline. Long claims that the increase is likely due to the COVID vaccine itself, arguing that the vaccine carries risk of severe side effects — more than the illness itself, and noting that the Federal Aviation Administration announced in October that it was easing some vaccine requirements for airline pilots due to concerns regarding their cardiac health.
“The Defense Department said this week that the increase in reportable adverse events among military pilots is the result of COVID-19 itself, not the vaccines.” This led to a sharp rebuke from Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS), who posted an Open Letter to the Director, Defense Health Agency, in support of Colonel Long:
We respectfully disagree with DoD. It is unethical and a disservice to the military aviators for the DoD to summarily dismiss their grievances, while basing rejections on presumption rather than scientific evidence.
The Pfizer preclinical trials were too small to appropriately identify serious adverse outcomes, and they did not test patients less than 30 years of age—an age that represents a large portion of military pilots.
Although no single data center that compiles adverse Covid 19 vaccine events is perfect, VAERS, DMED, the CDC’s vSafe, the Vaccine Safety Data Link (VSD), and the Biologics Effectiveness and Safety System (BEST) together demonstrate that the vaccine’s risk is not low and serious concerns abound.
It is accepted that severe adverse events and death due to Covid overwhelmingly affect the elderly and those with multiple comorbidities. The vast majority of operational military pilots are in excellent health and less than 40 years of age, putting this cohort at low risk for reportable Covid 19 symptoms.
It seems unlikely that the 17-fold increase in reportable events cited by Dr. Long is due to a disease that inflicts most of its damage in an age-dependent fashion and has mutated rapidly since its inception to less virulent variants.
So what was DOD’s response to these two potentially dramatic threats to the health and combat-effectiveness of our armed forces?
Holding a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion summit, of course:
Diversity is a strategic imperative critical to mission readiness and accomplishment. We were on site for the 2023 inaugural @DoD_ODEI Summit as DEIA experts led forums to advance the DEIA and DoD mission — because our people matter. pic.twitter.com/VX42BC1Imo
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) February 18, 2023
This led to an apropos response from Matthew Lohmeier, a former Space Force Lieutenant Colonel who was fired, forced to retire, and and subjected to an Inspector General investigation within the Pentagon after publishing his bestselling book, Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military, which tore the lid off the military’s obsession with racist and radical “woke” ideologies.
The DoD is wrong. Focusing on this is not critical to mission readiness but a detriment to it. We are losing our way. https://t.co/RMGnlawcP1
— Matt Lohmeier (@matthewlohmeier) February 19, 2023
In December, we held a live seminar called Saving the Military Service Academies from Wokeness with Lohmeier.
The video from the event is here:
I sincerely hope that DOD, which I was a member of for 31+ years, holds a personnel readiness “summit” with the same enthusiasm it displayed toward DEI, and solves these two medical issues that may be having a severe impact on military personnel and combat readiness.
But, that seems unlikely, since, as we reported here, President Biden’s new “equity” Executive Order requires DOD to create an “Agency Equity Team” within 30 days of the order, which will likely occupy DOD’s time to the detriment of solving real problems, like the real medical personnel combat readiness problems discussed above.DONATE
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