The acting head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said Thursday that drug deaths spiked dramatically during the pandemic, up roughly 27% compared with the previous year. "We lost 88,000 people in the 12-month period ending in August 2020," Regina LaBelle told reporters during a morning briefing. "Illicitly manufactured fentanyl and synthetic opioids are the primary drivers of this increase." That number, based on provisional data collected by the CDC, is sharply higher than the figure reported by the CDC as recently as last December.