Karen Kiessling, a mother who tragically lost her two sons Caleb, 20, and Kyler, 18 in July 2020 to a fentanyl-laced Percocet overdose, was appalled by Joe Biden's response after he used her family's story to criticize GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“This is how you speak about the death of my sons? Because a congresswoman misspoke? You mock the loss of my sons?” Kiessling said in an emotional video posted on Facebook.
Kiessling had provided testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee just one day before, telling Congress that more needs to be done in order to stop the influx of fentanyl imports into the United States. In reaction to this statement, Greene suggested that if the Biden administration had enforced stronger border security, her sons may not have died as a result of taking those pills.
On Wednesday evening at a gathering of House Democrats in Baltimore, Biden chuckled as he mentioned that her sons passed away while Donald Trump was still president: “I've read she was very specific recently saying that a mom, a poor mother who lost two kids to fentanyl, that I killed her sons. Well, the interesting thing: That fentanyl they took came during the last administration."
His response quickly sparked outrage from both Republicans and Democrats alike; Senator Mike Lee tweeted “@POTUS needs to apologize for this immediately," whilst Robby Starbuck commented "Biden just laughed while talking about a Mom whose kid was killed with Fentanyl. This is so incredibly inappropriate and vile."
Kiessling expressed further anger towards Biden's response - "How dare you. What is the matter with you? Almost every Democrat on the committee offered condolences...You can't even do that? You have to mock my pain?" - whilst demanding an apology from him for his insensitivity. She also noted that although her sons died six months prior to Biden's election as president of the United States, his government has failed to address how fentanyl deaths have increased by 22% since their inauguration - "That represents tens of thousands of US citizens who died under your watch...Do we have to bring them in so you can look them in the eyes and laugh?".
It's clear that Kiessling feels neglected and hurt by what she perceives as lackadaisical attitude displayed by both Republican members such as Greene and Democratic members such as Biden when it comes to doing what it takes in order for these tragedies not be repeated again within families across America stressing, "What about the 22% increase in fentanyl deaths since you became president?" What is most heartbreaking here is not only her personal experience of losing her two beloved children but also how common it has become for parents across America having lost their children due to drug overdoses.