New Hampshire Today: Interview with Senator Maggie Hassan 4-20-21

In an interview with Chris Ryan, Senator Maggie Hassan discusses the trial of Officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd and the controversial remarks of Congresswoman Maxine Waters; evaluates the Biden Administration’s decision to remove all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021; defends the decision to pause the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine; comments on National Take Back Drug Day, which is Saturday, April 24, and the Opioid Epidemic; and addresses the funding which will be needed to combat the opioid epidemic.

When she was asked to react to the trial of Officer Chauvin, Senator Hassan expressed her concern for the family of George Floyd and the Minnesota community at large. The Senator expressed her belief that the jury will do its job and her hope that the local and national reaction to the jury’s verdict will be peaceful and respectful of the judicial process.

When she was asked if Congresswoman Maxine Waters was out of bounds when she told a crowd in Minnesota to be “confrontational” if they don’t like the verdict in the Chauvin murder trial, Senator Hassan said the following:

“I think it’s really important that leaders emphasize the need for peace right now. There has been enough violence and heartache throughout the Minneapolis community and throughout our country.”

Senator Hassan has several concerns about the decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan by 9/11/2021. The Senator wants reassurances from the Biden Administration that this decision is based on conditions on the ground and not just an arbitrary date chosen for withdrawal; that Afghanistan will no longer be a safe haven for terrorists; and that the progress which has been made to improve the lives of the Afghan people, especially women, will be protected.

Governor Sununu was recently critical of the Biden Administration’s pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to a small number of patients developing blood clots. Senator Hassan defended the decision and explained that there was a need to determine how to safely treat individuals with this type of blood clot.

Senator Hassan responded to Governor Sununu’s complaints about difficulty of communicating with the Biden Administration. The Senator commended the administration for being transparent and forthcoming in sharing information with her.

While the COVID pandemic has been center stage, the opioid crisis, both nationally and in New Hampshire, has continued to rage. Senator Hassan speaks to how the isolation caused by the COVID shutdowns has fueled a substance use disorder crisis.

Saturday, April 24th will be National Take Back Drugs Day. Senator Hassan encourages people to go to the 100 or so police stations across the Granite State to dispose of unused prescription drugs in the boxes which will be provided. The Senator explains that addiction frequently begins with people using prescription drugs that are in the family medicine chest.

Take Back locations can be found at takebackday.dea.govto safely dispose of unused prescription drugs and vaping products by putting them in a zip lock plastic bag and dropping them in the box.

In the last segment of the interview, Senator Hassan discusses the need to evaluate how much the substance use disorder has grown during the COVID pandemic in order to determine what programs and funding will be needed.