McDowell County, West Virginia; a town with a poverty rate of 34.5% and the highest rate of drug induced deaths out of any county in the United States. Senator Bernie Sanders initially visited Five Loaves & Two Fishes Food Bank in May of 2016 during his campaign trail, to discuss job creation and the opioid epidemic plaguing McDowell county. Sanders was scheduled to reappear in McDowell county on February 13, but was abruptly cancelled by a state government official the day before. Considering the raging epidemic as well as the increasing poverty rate in McDowell county, what prompted this state official to cancel Senator sanders from speaking about solutions to poverty?
Was it the pure intimidation of a former democratic candidate speaking in a county which since 2012, has been heavily republican? Sharing his solutions which would most likely contradict the the nearly 70% republican population of West Virginia? Despite the political differences one would think allowing a heavily influential politician in to attempt to aide a community in need wouldn’t be a problem, apparently it seems to be, since a high ranking state official cancelled the event.
Sanders claims he won’t be “intimidated” by officials and will continue to fight to help the people of McDowell county, disregarding political affiliation, any person(s) willing to aide a county in the level of distress as McDowell should be allowed to voice his/her possible solutions to the public.