On his way to the White House to discuss the opioid epidemic, ex-Fox News anchor Eric Bolling paid a visit to the set of MSNBC’s Morning Joe to talk about the tragic death of his son Eric Chase Bolling.
The younger Bolling, age 19, a University of Colorado student, passed away in Boulder on September 8 from an accidental drug overdose, the same day that his dad was let go by the Fox News Channel.
In the emotional interview, Bolling told Joe Scarbough and co-host/fiancee Mika Brzezinski that he and his wife, who were still processing his abrupt departure from the news network, were in the car returning home from a restaurant when they received the devastating phone call that their son had passed away. They pulled over to the side of the road and just sat on the curb, trying to come to grips with what they had just been informed.
Bolling explained that the tabloid-like headlines that Eric Chase Bolling had committed suicide were wrong. He noted that his son bought a Xanax pill laced with fentanyl on campus (not via a prescription), which led to the overdose.
He and panelist Dr. Dave Campbell stressed that parents need to warn their kids about the danger of opioids, especially because many of them now contain the above-referenced fentanyl, an ultra-potent synthetic opioid that can kill. Bolling added that many of these pills are made in China and smuggled across the Mexican border.
Eric Bolling also recalled how President Donald Trump called him about seven times since his son’s death to see how he and his wife were holding up, including the following day after they flew to Colorado. The president also called on Thanksgiving, when the family was dealing with the reality of an empty chair at the table. Bolling also thanked Scarborough for his expression of support during the difficult time since his son’s passing as well as the backing of thousands of people on social media.
Both Bolling, who has been working with the White House on the opioid epidemic, and Campbell praised the Trump administration for including $6 billion in the new budget for opioid awareness. “He cares about this issue…The guy has empathy and compassion for this,” Eric Bolling remarked about President Trump, the Washington Times reported.
Trump has previously declared that opioid abuse is a national health emergency.
Mika implied that Bolling would come back to Morning Joe at some point to discuss the allegations (involving purported lewd text messages) that led to his exit from Fox News. When Mika asked the ex-FNC anchor to tell the audience a little more about his son, Eric Bolling offered this recollection and perhaps a life lesson.
“This might help parents also. [Eric Chase] was just a fantastic person, human being — loved animals, loved people, social kid. He did great in his first year at the University of Colorado, and this is important. In the last couple of weeks of his life, there was a dramatic change in his personality. He must have hooked up with some people; maybe he was starting to experiment with some of the harder drugs. And I will tell you, if you see a personality change, it was dramatic. As a parent you go, ‘something is going on.’ We just had no idea had dramatic it ultimately was going to be.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription and non-prescription opioids caused a record 42,000 fatalities in 2016, and that about 115 Americans die each day as result of opioid ODs.
A Trump loyalist and author of the best-selling Drain the Swamp, Eric Bolling formerly held down the center chair on The Five ensemble on FNC and also anchored Cashin’ In on Saturdays. He stayed behind to co-host the Fox News Specialists after The Five moved from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time following the prime-time schedule shake-up, if not musical chairs, attendant to the cancellation of The O’Reilly Factor.
Along with Bolling’s departure on September 8, FNC cancelled the Fox News Specialists, however, which endured low ratings and a general lack of chemistry among the co-hosts. The Five has since returned to its original time slot, with Sean Hannity switching from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. (his original time before The Kelly File launched). Debuting on October 30, Laura Ingraham’s show, The Ingraham Angle, airs at 10 p.m. Tucker Carlson’s program took over for O’Reilly, further stabilizing the network’s highly rated prime-time lineup.
A former commodities trader and minor leaguer in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Eric Bolling worked for CNBC and the Fox Business Channel before moving over to Fox News. At one point, he was considered for a position in the federal government after Donald Trump won the 2016 election.