Two Los Angeles Police Department employees are being treated for “salmonella typhi” and “salmonella typhi-like symptoms,” according to a press release issued May 30.
Rather than admitting the obvious – that the city has been dealing with an infectious disease crisis, caused by medieval sanitation conditions throughout the city, since the first confirmed typhus case in October 2018 – the release simply states:
“Our Facilities Management Division is working with the city’s General Services Department to disinfect any work areas that may have been exposed and that work is expected to be completed [Thursday] evening. Our police officers often patrol in adverse environments and can be exposed to various dangerous elements. We have…provided them with strategies to stay healthy while we mitigate this issue.”
These “adverse environments” include City Hall, which is overrun with rats.
The sanitation situation is so bad that Dr. Drew Pinsky recently predicted that “there will be a major infectious disease epidemic this summer in Los Angeles.” He blamed the politicians:
“We have tens and tens of thousands of people living in tents. Horrible conditions. Sanitation. Rats have taken over the city….We have multiple rodent-borne, flea-borne illnesses, plague, typhus. We’re gonna have louse-borne illness. If measles breaks into that population, we have tuberculosis exploding. Literally, our politicians are like Nero. It’s worse than Nero.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life….I feel like I’m on a train track waving at the train and the train is going to go off the bridge. The bridge is out.”
The politicians Pinsky blames for the crisis accuse him of hyperbole, blaming the massive homeless population for the “adverse conditions” and claim that they just need more money (more money!) to help the homeless. But, it turns out that the city political machine’s insatiable appetite for grift and control has played a big part in creating and perpetuating this problem.
See, in 2017 LA Mayor (and potential someday POTUS candidate) Eric Garcetti’s pet recycling program, RecycLA, rolled out. Under the new program the city was divided into seven sections and in each section one recycling company was given the exclusive right to operate in that area – and the City of Los Angeles raked in $35 million for those exclusive rights.
Guess what happened? Fees doubled and tripled, and missed pickups skyrocketed – over 28,000 missed pickups in the first six months of the program.
Merchants whose recycling bills went from $1,200 to $2,200 or more – per month – started finding innovative ways to take care of their trash. LA Times reporter Steve Lopez describes the situation (emphasis added):
On Agatha Street near Crocker Street, I watched a homeless dumpster diver half-disappear into a bin, digging for recyclables. As I was watching, and standing with Ramirez and one of his uniformed deputies, a man exited an alley on foot carrying several boxes and other debris and threw the junk down on the sidewalk, right in front of us.
“You can’t do that,” Ramirez protested, ordering the man to pick up the trash and properly dispose of it in a bin.
We followed him back into the alley, where he tossed the junk into a dumpster and then showed Ramirez the tarp he sleeps under. He said the business owners allow him to sleep there in return for dumping all the trash, and they apparently don’t care where he disposes of it.
Word on the street, from merchants and homeless people, was that some of the more unscrupulous merchants routinely dump their own trash on the streets or pay homeless people a few bucks to get rid of it for them.
So, the streets look like this – and from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, Angelenos fear for their health this summer.
— Ian (@FreeSpeechian) May 7, 2019
If that happens, Dr. Drew proposes one solution:
“Here’s what I want to do, I want to take away qualified immunity from the politicians so we can go after them for reckless negligence.”
That’s one way to look at it. A few residents might also hope people like Garcetti and his family are the ones whose health suffers.