Yang calls opioid crisis a 'disease of capitalism run amok'

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangEmanuel jokes: 'I'm a new, mellow Rahm' Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee MORE on Tuesday called the opioid crisis a “disease of capitalism run amok,” hitting Purdue Pharma in particular over its alleged role in the epidemic.

Yang claimed that the crisis wouldn’t have happened if it weren't for the drug company, which has been widely blamed for being a catalyst in the opioid crisis.

“Now you have thousands of Americans whose lives are being destroyed by an epidemic that the government essentially turned a blind eye towards,” Yang said during an appearance on “Rising.”

“So at this point we have to say this was a systemic failure of capitalism run amok,” he added.

Yang also blamed the federal government for being “negligent in allowing this opioid crisis to spread.”

“When I’m talking to a town hall, there are always people who’ve had friends, family members, or neighbors die from overdoses,” he said. “So to me this is one of the most important problems of this time.”

Yang’s comments come after a federal bankruptcy judge reportedly extended a protection to temporarily block several lawsuits against Purdue Pharma.

The Washington Post reported last month that the move was part of compromise between the company and several states. The lawsuits against the drug company will be postponed until April 8.

Meanwhile several states have taken steps to ensure that Purdue Pharma is held accountable for its alleged role in fueling the epidemic.

Attorneys general from 24 states and Washington, D.C. have reportedly attempted to block Purdue Pharma from avoiding thousands of lawsuits after it filed for bankruptcy. 

—Tess Bonn