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Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

Representing New Haven, Hamden & North Haven

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Statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D- New Haven) today released the following statement regarding comments made by Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) concerning yesterday's public health emergency on the New Haven Green:

"In light of yesterday’s public health emergency on the New Haven Green, I want to acknowledge the rapid response organized by New Haven Fire Chief John Alston, Police Chief Anthony Campbell and Emergency Operations Director Rick Fontana. We should also acknowledge the expert care and response of all of our fire, police and EMS personnel on the scene and the medical staff at Yale New Haven Hospital.

"Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano’s response to a public health emergency shows just how out of touch Republicans are; how they view our cities and urban residents; and his attempts to paint the city and its residents with a broad brush are beneath him.

"What disturbs me most about Senator Fasano’s characterization of the recent drug overdoses in New Haven is that he implies that drug abuse is somehow an exclusively inner-city problem, brought about by government indifference.

"I’d also like to remind Senator Fasano the problem is not unique to New Haven – this is a public health crisis that is gripping our nation. Indeed, a sizeable number of the people needing medical assistance yesterday were from suburban towns.

"What the facts show – and Senator Fasano is aware of this – is that drug overdoses in Connecticut have tripled since 2010. Most drug overdose victims are adult white males overdosing at home, on fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin and cocaine. And the overdoses occur from Terryville to Clinton, Oxford to Seymour, New Milford to Enfield, Danbury, Bristol and Meriden, in Democratic and Republican strongholds, big cities and small towns, among people of all incomes and ethnicities.

"And while Senator Fasano was quick to assign blame, Mayor Harp and her administration were busy working with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Public Health, and state, local, and federal law enforcement."

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