They say an image is worth a thousand words, so when it comes to forming an opinion on the past week’s news, who better to turn to than the nation’s best political cartoonists.
As it has been since President Trump’s election, it was a hectic news week. The opioid crisis continues to dominate headlines in and around Philadelphia, while nationally Trump’s response to the family members of fallen soldiers has garnered criticism from both sides of the aisle. And Hillary Clinton can’t seem to stay out of the headlines.
Signe Wilkinson, our own Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, came up with a dandy this week that shines a spotlight on the relationship between race and addiction treatment. Drug overdoses killed more than 64,000 people in the United States last year, nearly triple the number recorded in 1999. According to my Inquirer colleague Sam Wood, in suburban Montgomery County the number of fatal drug-related overdoses rocketed from 177 in 2015 to 249 in 2016.
Rick McKee, the staff cartoonist at the Augusta Chronicle, aimed his pen in the direction of Bill and Hillary Clinton after The Hill revealed corruption at the center of a deal made to allow Russia’s nuclear agency to purchase a majority stake in Uranium One, a Canadian-based mining company.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Star-Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack put President Trump on a package of “Scrawny” after he was mocked for tossing paper towels like basketballs to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. A month after the storm devastated the island, nearly eight in 10 Puerto Ricans are still without power.
Both Tim Campbell and Pat Bagley went after Trump over his response to the family member of the four soldiers who died after an ISIS assault on American troops in Niger. The mother of Sgt. La David Johnson said Trump showed “disrespect” during a telephone call to extend condolences.
In what was probably the most overlooked story of the week, funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was not renewed by Congress, meaning more than nine million children could lose access to medical care. Pennsylvania could run out of funds as soon as February, which would impact 175,000 children across the state. That motivated Scranton Times-Tribune cartoonist John Cole to come up with this morbid image, which would have been unthinkable just a year ago.