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After Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines for how local agencies could access grants for “harm reduction,” the Washington Free Beacon reported that crack pipes would be among those things that would be funded. The crack pipes would be part of safe smoking kits, the Free Beacon wrote.
On Wednesday, the White House contradicted the Free Beacon‘s reporting, saying that the safe smoking kits that could be paid for under the grant program did not contain crack pipes. The HHS, in their granting guidelines, did not specify that crack pipes were included in the kits, but in many safe smoking kits, pipes are included as part of the “harm reduction” strategy. Reporters for the Washington Free Beacon said that absolutely HHS told them crack pipes were part of the package.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the funding of crack pipes by the Biden administration via HHS, and said unequivocally that it was not true.
“They were never a part of the kit,” Psaki said in response to a question on the matter. “It was inaccurate reporting. We want to put out information to make that clear.” The reporter followed up to ask just what is in the “safe smoking kit,” and Psaki said that it “may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis.”
Psaki then defended the grants for “harm reduction,” saying “I would note that what we’re really talking about here is steps that we’re taking as a federal government to address the opioid epidemic, which is killing tens of thousands, if not more, Americans, day week, month of the year. We put out the statement though, because there was inaccurate information out there—I should say HHS put out the statement—because there was inaccurate information out there and we wanted to provide clarification on the allowable uses for the HHS Harm Reduction Program.”
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