SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is on target to surpass the number of accidental drug overdose deaths this year compared to 2022. Fentanyl is the main driver.
In San Francisco, about two people die from a fentanyl overdose every day and the latest numbers from the medical examiner are staggering. At least 692 people have died from an overdose this year, with 83% from fentanyl.
"The fentanyl crisis is driving the worse public health calamity San Francisco has faced since the AIDS crisis," said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey, "We are on pace in San Francisco for a record-setting number of drug overdose deaths and we have very likely already passed the number. We will know next month. We are losing people at a rate of two per day to accidental drug overdoses."
Last week during APEC, President Biden made fentanyl one of his priorities as he met with Presidents of China and Mexico.
"I called this meeting to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep building on the momentum of last week. How can we accelerate our efforts and make sure that we delivering real results for the people who are being hurt so badly?" said President Biden.
Tuesday, President Biden announced what actually came out of those meeting - starting with China's production of the drug.
"During my meeting with President Xi, we took a critical step of resuming counter narcotics cooperation between our two countries. One of the more important things we agreed upon," said President Biden and added, "In 2019, China essentially stopped direct shipments of fentanyl from China to the United States but since then, drug trade has since evolved. It's moved from finished fentanyl to fentanyl components. Like chemicals and pill pressers that are shipped with few controls from China to the western hemisphere."
After his meeting with Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President Biden is hoping to see a disruption of the trafficking of fentanyl.
"Together, we committed on expanding law enforcement operation and intelligence sharing to better disrupt the flow of fentanyl," said President Biden.
On Tuesday, we caught up with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi in the Tenderloin - one of the city's fentanyl hotspots.
"I hope there will be results in the conversation with the President of China because the ingredients come from there. The process is done in Mexico and the sales come to the streets of San Francisco," said Pelosi.
In June, Pelosi announced Operation Overdrive deploying federal law enforcement resources to help local and state authorities to dismantle criminal drug networks.
"Operation overdrive is an attempt to again address this happening on the streets in terms of drugs, in terms of violence and in terms of justice," said Pelosi.
These steps are giving San Francisco officials like Supervisor Dorsey hope in the war against fentanyl.
"I have never seen everybody rolling in the same direction and I think that is true at the local level. I think that is true at the state level, its true at the national level and encouragingly now we are seeing that there is cooperation at the international level," said Supervisor Dorsey.
Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new effort to hold drug dealers accountable on the streets of San Francisco. His office announced a law enforcement task force that will investigate fatal overdoses as homicides.
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