Biden Admin Rejects Report that Said It Will Be Funding Crack Pipes as Part of a Drug Safety Plan

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The Biden administration is rejecting reports that a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant program to counter harm from illicit drugs was going to be used to pay for safer pipes to smoke crack or meth.

The White House was put on the defensive after it received criticism from several Republicans and the resulting social media backlash following a story posted by the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. The outlet reported a $30 million grant for the Harm Reduction Program will provide funds to nonprofits and local governments to help make drug use safer for addicts.

The HHS supervises the funding for the program, which allegedly includes money for syringes and “smoking kits/supplies.” 

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At one point, a spokesman for the HHS told the Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”

In response, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and White House drug policy adviser Rahul Gupta on Wednesday issued a joint statement, saying, “HHS and ONDCP are focused on using our resources smartly to reduce harm and save lives. Accordingly, no federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits. The goal of harm reduction is to save lives.”

“The Administration is focused on a comprehensive strategy to stop the spread of drugs and curb addiction, including prioritizing the use of proven harm reduction strategies like providing naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and clean syringes, as well as taking decisive actions to go after violent criminals who are trafficking illicit drugs like fentanyl across our borders and into our communities,” they stated. “We will continue working to address the addiction and overdose epidemic and ensure that our resources are used in the smartest and most efficient manner.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said paying for pipes was never part of the plan.

“They were never a part of the kit,” she said. “It was inaccurate reporting and we wanted to put out information to make that clear.”

The story had gone viral over the last few days with many liberal fact-checkers, including Snopes, coming to the administration’s defense. 

But CBN’s Faithwire Managing Editor Dan Andros said that among the fact-checkers, there’s a very left-leaning biased sort of infrastructure. 

Speaking on CBN News’ The Daily Rundown podcast, Andros looked at Snopes’ fact-checking on the story. The website wrote it had investigated the following claim: “In early 2022, the Biden administration endeavored to advance racial equity by distributing crack pipes to drug users.”

The website first rated it “mostly false,” but Andros said the facts seemed to indicate the claim wasn’t entirely false, but rather a bit misleading because the HHS had reportedly told the Beacon the grant would cover drug paraphernalia. 

After the HHS issued a statement, Snopes changed their fact check to “outdated.” 

“This newly-stipulated detail was not originally available, meaning the assertions made in a first wave of coverage had become outdated,” Snopes wrote. 

In a tweet, The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler noted the HHS statement contained “no suggestion that the original reporting on crackpipes was wrong.”

“Note how carefully worded this statement is. Unlike WH comment, there is no suggestion that the original reporting on crack pipes was wrong. The use of the word ‘Accordingly’ suggests a change in policy without directly saying so, he wrote. 




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