Americans don’t have to look as far as Venezuela to see the massive failure of a government incapable of delivering the basics of what people need from their government. A brief look at California shows how the twisted priorities of Democrat political leadership are creating a dangerous environment for the residents of the Golden State.
While combatting climate change remains a top priority for Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrat Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the streets of California’s cities are filled with homeless camps, garbage, and disease-spreading rats.
In a throwback to medieval times, Los Angeles is facing an infectious disease epidemic caused by flea-borne disease linked to rat-infested streets. Last October, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a health alert surrounding an outbreak of flea-borne typhus in the homeless population in downtown Los Angeles.
A month later, Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood was diagnosed with typhus, which she claims came from fleas carried by rats that are infesting City Hall and an adjacent building, City Hall East, where she worked.
Greenwood filed a $5 million lawsuit against the city, claiming she contracted typhus because the mayor and others in the city government did not clean up garbage on nearby streets, which allowed rats and fleas to flourish.
The type of typhus found in Los Angeles is called murine typhus, caused by a bacteria called Rickettsia typhi. The infection occurs when infected flea feces enters a person’s body through a cut or the eyes. Rats and other small animals carry the fleas into areas in close proximity to humans, where the exposure occurs. The symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pain, and it’s cured by antibiotics. If typhus is untreated, it can result in serious injury to organs.
Citing the California Department of Heath, NBC4 reported a new record of 124 cases of typhus in Los Angeles County in 2018.
In a related public health matter, the Central Division station of the Los Angeles Police Department had a rodent problem and other health-related issues and was fined for six violations by the California Department of Industrial Relations.
The department was faulted for “not having a program to exterminate and control rats, fleas, roaches, gnats, mosquitoes or grasshoppers in the building.”
One police officer from the Central Division recently contracted typhoid fever, which is caused by Salmonella Typhi, a different bacteria from that causing typhus. The source of the officer’s infection has not been determined yet.
Unlike typhus, typhoid fever can be a life-threatening disease and is not linked to fleas. Typhoid fever is a rare disease in the U.S. and can be spread by people or through contaminated water.
Solving the typhus problem is not rocket science and doesn’t require quantum physics. It’s basic epidemiology. The truth is you don’t need sophisticated equipment or a genius-level IQ to diagnose the problem. All you need is a pair of eyes and common sense. The rise in homelessness is leading to filth and garbage on the streets that attract rats and fleas.
The number of homeless in the city of Los Angeles has shot up 16 percent to over 36,000, reaching almost 59,000 in Los Angeles County in 2019. Remove the homeless from the streets and clean up the garbage, and the problem is solved.
A report on the source of the rat problem at City Hall was recently unearthed via a public records search. Predictably, the report blamed the homeless on the streets for the rat infestation, but for some reason, city elected officials did not publicized the study’s results. This correlates with the reluctance of city leaders to point to homeless camps as the root cause of the public health problem.
For some reason, the simplest possible solution is over the head of Mayor Garcetti. NBC4 News reported the city allows garbage to sit on the streets for months and has not implemented an aggressive program to eliminate the rat problem.
Unfortunately for Californians, their elected officials are worried about global issues such as climate change instead of basic sanitation and public health.
California is taking the lead on addressing climate change. The state has a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a goal of generating 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.
Garcetti has Los Angeles joining the Green New Deal parade. The mayor’s plan targets transportation with a goal of having 80 percent of cars powered by electricity or zero-emission technology and to have city residents drive fewer miles each year.
Meanwhile, disease-carrying rats are running the streets and infesting city buildings.
Los Angeles should serve as a warning sign to Americans that twisted Democrat priorities can deliver third-world results.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @tomborelli.