Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said during an MSNBC town hall Monday that drug manufacturers like the Sackler family, which founded Purdue Pharma, should be prosecuted for their role in exacerbating the opioid crisis.

"What we have to do is take on the drug manufacturers, who purposefully made these [drugs] stronger, more addictive — and now that we have the documents, we know that they did it because they wanted record sales. ... They should be prosecuted. What we know from the evidence that's been gleaned from what the Sackler family did, and how they looked at drugs as a way to make billions of dollars, and making sure that the dosage is higher so they are more addictive, the way they dampened down any investigation, any transparency and accountability — that is what we have to take on."

The backdrop: The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of opioid painkillers including OxyContin. The company is currently fighting a court challenge that has become the first major legal battle between public officials and the companies involved with making, distributing and selling prescription painkillers.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.