During an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday evening, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) repeated a disputed story about a Kentucky woman overdosing on fentanyl after she picked up a dollar bill in a McDonald’s, according to Mediaite.
Laying out the Republican “vision” for the midterm elections, McCarthy complained about gas prices, education, and drugs:
“We will secure the border and stop this movement of fentanyl the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. I don’t know if you saw that story of a young woman who picked up a dollar bill sitting on the floor of McDonald’s and fell down because fentanyl was on that dollar bill. This is how deadly this is.”
McCarthy: I don’t know if you saw that story on a young woman who picked up a dollar bill sitting on the floor of McDonald’s and fell down because fentanyl pic.twitter.com/iSyGk0FDbf
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 13, 2022
The story McCarthy referenced took place in Nashville, Tennessee and was first reported by WSMV-4 on Monday, with Renee Parsons telling a reporter:
“As I was walking inside, there was a dollar on the floor just hanging out, so I picked it up, not thinking anything of it.”
Shortly thereafter, Parsons claimed, she began to feel the effects of the drug that had been on the currency, according to the reporter: “Her body went numb within 10 minutes after picking up the dollar. She said she could barely talk or breathe before passing out.”
Really? How likely is such an assertion? Not very, according to medical professionals, with one study noting:
“Health-related misinformation continues to proliferate online, hampering responses to public health crises. More evidence-informed tools are needed to effectively challenge misinformed narratives in mainstream and social media.”
Dr. Rebecca Donald, a fentanyl expert and assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine from Vanderbilt University, also scoffed at Parsons:
“I think it is really unlikely the substance this lady got into her system is fentanyl based on the symptoms she had. It is much more likely for her to have a reaction if she had inadvertently rubbed her nose and exposed that drug to some of the blood vessels in her nose or licked her fingers or rubbed her eyes.”
Dr. Caleb Alexander, an epidemiologist and drug safety expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, concurred with Donald, noting:
“The skin is a very good barrier and defense against a lot of things that are out there in the world, and it would be incredibly unusual for somebody to touch something that was contaminated with fentanyl and subsequently to experience a really serious, adverse effect from it.”
Nice try, Kevin, but we all know you’re full of it, and the “it” ain’t fentanyl, either.
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