2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg mocked a father and son for dying from a drug overdose while elite businessmen laughed and laughed at the billionaire ex-mayor’s callousness.
A recently unearthed video from the Bermuda Executive Forum in New York City features Bloomberg’s trademark attempts at humor—using his voice to lighten the mood among people of extreme wealth and privilege in Manhattan at the expense of the poor, dispossessed and hopeless in Brooklyn.
“I think it was 72,000 Americans—not sure how much of a drug problem you have in Bermuda—but here 72,000 Americans died in 2017 from overdoses,” Bloomberg noted—in remarks keyed toward his longstanding opposition to the legalization of marijuana.
Then came the laugh line:
The New York Post—err Daily News—had a picture on the front page of a father and a son. They both OD’d at the same party. Not a good family. You know, craziness.
“And then we are going hellbent in this country to legalize marijuana,” Bloomberg continued, “another addictive drug where we’ve never done the research for what it does to people.”
Bloomberg’s controversial comments were in reference to Carlos Andrade and Joseph Andrade, who died of apparent heroin overdoses in late October 2017. The dual tragedy of the two men’s demise shocked the city at the time—bringing the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis into stark relief.
The New York Daily News reported at the time:
A father and son at a Brooklyn birthday bash went out for a late-night smoke – and then both died from apparent heroin overdoses, police said…
Carlos Andrade’s girlfriend found the 22-year-old man struggling for breath, his face turning purple, just inside the doorway of an apartment building…where his father lived, the woman’s uncle [said].
“Andrade’s father, 44-year-old Joseph Andrade, was found unconscious next to his son, outside the red-brick building about 3 a.m. on Sunday, police and sources said,” that report continued.
Bloomberg’s use of the double heroin overdose to argue against marijuana legalization—as a punchline to curry favor with a wealthy audience—elicited a strong rebuke online.
“Imagine mocking a family that lost two members to drug overdose,” tweeted Common Dreams’s Eoin Higgins. “Fucking barbaric.”
Another typical response came from a Twitter user with firsthand experience losing someone to drugs.
“As a recovering addict who lost an amazing partner to an overdose this is abhorrent,” said @hourglassrebel. “I’m a doctor, not that it matters, except to show that addiction can affect anybody. All walks of life. All backgrounds. Fuck Bloomberg.”
As a recovering addict who lost an amazing partner to an overdose this is abhorrent. I’m a doctor, not that it matters, except to show that addiction can affect anybody. All walks of life. All backgrounds.
Fuck Bloomberg. https://t.co/iW5Faee3IO
— Rosalie🌹 (@hourglassrebel) February 24, 2020
Others noted the unavoidable issue of class.
“[H]ere’s a video they don’t want you to see: Mike Bloomberg and a room full of plutocrats laughing gleefully about two men who tragically died of heroin overdoses,” tweeted the Gravel Institute, a left-wing think tank that was formed by former Alaska senator Mike Gravel after his brief 2020 presidential bid.
Law&Crime reached out to Bloomberg’s campaign for comment on this story, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
[image via screengrab/Bermuda Broadcasting]
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