Members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, have notoriously avoided the media, but David Sackler broke the silence by speaking with Bethany McLean of Vanity Fair to say his family "didn't cause the [opioid] crisis."

What he said: Sackler conceded that marketing claims saying OxyContin had small risks of abuse and addiction were wrong, but argued they were based on the science at the time.

  • He also said people should "look at all the good Purdue has done … it's overwhelming what the company over the years was trying to do to fix this problem."

Yes, but: Reporting in the Los Angeles TimesProPublica and elsewhere shows the company, led by the Sacklers, knew about the problems with OxyContin and other prescription opioids for years and still encouraged aggressive prescribing to boost sales.

  • One of the most damning examples come from company emails that show David's father, Richard, agreeing with a plan not to tell doctors that OxyContin is a stronger painkiller than morphine.

Go deeper: Richard Sackler endorsed plan to mislead about OxyContin's potency

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 19,172,505 — Total deaths: 716,327— Total recoveries — 11,608,417Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 4,902,692 — Total deaths: 160,394 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Trump floats executive action even if stimulus deal is reached.
  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.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases.

General Motors tries to revive incendiary lawsuit vs. Fiat Chrysler

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is trying to revive an incendiary lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with explosive new allegations including bribes paid from secret offshore bank accounts and a union official acting as a double agent between the two automotive giants.

Why it matters: The extraordinary legal battle is occurring amid earth-shaking changes in the global auto industry that threaten to turn both litigants into dinosaurs if they aren't nimble enough to pivot to a future where transportation is a service, cars run on electrons and a robot handles the driving.

3 hours ago - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.