Dave McCormick invested in Chinese fentanyl before wanting to ban it during campaign

Dave McCormick, fentanyl

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as canditate for US Senate Dave McCormick speaks at a rally in Philadelphia on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

By Sean Kitchen

July 9, 2024

Dave McCormick says he wants to stop Chinese-produced fentanyl flowing into the country, but tax forms show that his hedge fund invested $1.7 million in China’s largest synthetic opiate manufacturer. 

After investing his hedge fund into Chinese fentanyl producers, stopping the flow of Chinese-produced fentanyl into the US is now one of Dave McCormick’s top priorities if he is elected to the US Senate this November. In the past, he’s called Chinese fentanyl a “terrorist threat” and an “insidious attack on America” in interviews and social media posts.

During a Polaris National Security “America the Great Tour” event in Pittsburgh last April, McCormick, a former Connecticut-based hedge fund manager challenging US Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) this November, compared treating the dangerous narcotic to nuclear plutonium. 

“I think we need to treat it as a national security threat it is,” McCormick told attendees at the time.  “What would I do? I would go after China in the sense I’d interdict ships, I would treat this like it’s nuclear plutonium.”

Then the Keystone Renewal PAC, a super PAC supporting McCormick, recently launched a $30 million ad campaign supporting McCormick. One of the ads features McCormick promising to stop the flow of fentanyl into the country. 

“Today we face a shadow growing on the Pacific horizon…I’m proposing a new [path]. Stop the flow of fentanyl, ban purchases of American land and US investment that supports the Chinese Community Party,” McCormick said in the ad. 

However, federal tax forms show that Bridgewater Associates invested in China’s largest fentanyl producer, Humanwell Healthcare, when McCormick served as CEO of Bridgewater Associates.

In 2021, seven Bridgewater Associates hedge funds held close to $1.7 million in stock in Humanwell Healthcare, which is traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. 

A 2022 Rand Corporation report on comparing the production of opiates stated that Humanwell Healthcare produces 90% of China’s fentanyl. 

“Chinese law restricts production of controlled substances to nationally designated firms that must adhere to stateset production quotas. For example, legal production of several fentanyl analogues used in medical applications is concentrated in the Humanwell Healthcare (Renfu Yiyao), which owns 90 percent of the domestic market. This arrangement grants sponsored firms near monopoly status and might decrease the oversight burden,” the report stated

McCormick served as the President of Bridgewater Associates from 2009 to 2020 and then the company’s CEO from 20202 to 2022 when he lost to Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Republican primary for US Senate.In 2023, McCornick told the American Enterprise Institute that he was responsible for whatever the company did. 

According to the Pennsylvania State Police’s Overdose Information Network (ODIN), over 4,700 Pennsylvania residents passed away due to fentanyl overdoses in 2022. The report goes on to point out that the state’s opioid epidemic affects rural communities with 42.3 overdoses per 100,000 residents when compared to urban communities with 34.0 overdoses per 100,000 residents.

Casey called out McCormick’s investments in China during an interview with The Keystone last month, stating that Bridgewater Associates contributed to China’s financial well-being. 

“When he was the CEO of the largest hedge fund in the world, he increased investments in China by over a hundred thousand percent,” Casey said. “So he contributed by way of the investment decisions he made – he contributed to the rise of China.”

McCormick’s campaign was reached for comment but did not respond.

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: NATIONAL POLITICS
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