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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 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

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