GOP Candidate Profited from Opioid Epidemic, Tries to Benefit Politically by Opposing COVID-19 Mask and Vaccine Orders

TRENTON, NJ — Considering the newly released revelation that Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli made millions profiting from the opioid epidemic at his medical publishing company, a clear pattern is emerging when it comes to Ciattarelli’s handling of public health issues — from opioids to COVID-19, Ciattarelli is an opportunist whose top priority is whatever benefits him, not what’s best for the people of New Jersey. 

While Assemblyman Ciattarelli benefited financially — making millions of dollars — from the opioid crisis, his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic shows the same self-serving, cynical conduct. Just as Ciattarelli ignored the science that opioids were dangerously addictive, Ciattarelli has consistently opposed proven public health measures like masking in schools and spread baseless anti-mask conspiracy theories. He has blatantly pandered to the anti-vaccine movement, calling for looser vaccine requirements in schools. Again and again, Assemblyman Ciattarelli does what’s good for him, not what’s good for New Jersey. 

“Jack Ciattarelli has always been an opportunist willing to do real harm to people to help himself out — he saw a chance to make millions of dollars by pushing pharma-sponsored materials that fueled the opioid crisis even while it was destroying families and communities in New Jersey, and then he saw another opportunity to win the Republican nomination for governor by lying about the dangers of COVID-19,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “In both cases, Assemblyman Ciattarelli made a choice to put New Jerseyans in harm’s way to benefit himself. The contrast between Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s craven, self-centered behavior, and Governor Murphy’s responsible leadership could not be more clear, and New Jersey won’t let Jack Ciattarelli cash in on another public health crisis.”