Major diseases threaten California because of its bungled homeless situation

Chuck Devore:
According to California Governor (and former San Francisco Mayor) Gavin Newsom, the “vast majority” of San Francisco’s homeless people “also come in from… Texas.”

To him, that’s “just an interesting fact;” to PolitiFact, it’s “Pants on Fire” inaccurate. PolitiFact goes as far as calling it “ridiculous.”

The tiniest factual nugget for Newsom’s fib was contained in data from a city program that hands out bus tickets to the homeless so they can travel to family or friends who have agreed to care for them. Of 12,268 tickets issued over 14 years through last year, 827 were to Texas—that’s 6.7% of the total—though the highest for any destination not in California.

It makes sense that Texas would be the most popular state other than California—as the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual interstate migration report shows that Texas has been the No. 1 state for people moving out of California for more than a decade.

That Newsom, San Francisco’s mayor from 2004 to 2011, would want to blame a state 1,200 miles away for the growing ranks of homeless in the state’s fourth-largest city—and every other urban area in California—is both understandable and troubling.

Understandable, because Newsom, first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors at the age of 29, has been in public office for 22 consecutive years with direct responsibility for the myriad of policies that bear on the homeless population.

Troubling, because laying false blame for a problem on something that has nothing to do with that issue makes solving that problem far more difficult—if not impossible.

What’s worse, in addition to the deplorable plight faced by California’s growing homeless population, estimated by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to number almost 130,000 last year, the unsanitary conditions they foster are now becoming a public health risk at large.

The trash, used needles, and human waste littering California’s cities have led to increased numbers of rats and—along with them—fleas and deadly diseases. There were 13 reported cases of typhus in California in 2008, spiking to 167 in 2018, while hepatitis A, tuberculosis, and staph has been spreading aggressively in San Francisco and other California cities.

A new public health threat may be on the verge of making a deadly appearance: bubonic plague—known in the Middle Ages as the “Black Death”—it was responsible killing about 60% of the population of Eurasia in the mid-1300s.
There is more.

While the homeless crisis has been apparent for several months what is new is California politicians trying to blame it on Texas.  They are not intimidated by their own absurdity.   Blaming it own Texas will not cure their fundamental failure to enforce commonsense regulations need to ensure sanitation and disese control.


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