From a scientific, public health, and public policy perspective, needle exchange programs aren’t even controversial. They save lives, reduce disease, and don’t result in increased drug abuse.
Yet politically, there are still flat-earthers out there somehow concerned about the message sent by saving people’s lives.
Scott County’s needle-exchange program was created through an emergency executive order signed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence in an attempt to curb the state’s largest-ever HIV outbreak. Pence’s 30-day order temporarily suspended Indiana’s ban on such programs, but only for the southeastern Indiana county that’s about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky.
“While (Pence) has been clear that he does not support needle exchange as anti-drug policy on an ongoing basis, he’s been equally clear about his concern over this outbreak, and has taken a critical step to end this outbreak by allowing this needle exchange to occur,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, the News and Tribune reported.
That is an incredible disconnect. They understand that it is absolutely essential to public health, yet they don’t support it and will only allow it on a limited basis in one county.