Liberal policies are often enacted with the best intentions. However, without considering the unintended consequences, liberal social justice policies often backfire and harm the most vulnerable populations.
Hepatitis A is raging through California’s massive homeless population, bringing the state to the brink of a full-blown epidemic. Cases of the highly infectious liver virus have spread across homeless populations living in tent cities from San Diego to northern Sacramento, according to Breitbart.
The disease has been spreading quickly since San Diego County first identified the hepatitis A outbreak last November. Since then, Californian health officials have reported that over 569 people have been infected. However, this number is likely higher as many homeless people do not seek regular medical attention.
The disease has spread from its nexus in San Diego to infecting homeless populations in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles.
Government officials are attempting to downplay the severity of the disease’s spread. They are reporting, however, a massive increase in known cases since 2015, the last year with publicly available data. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 1,390 cases of hepatitis A across the entire United States in 2015, with 179 documented cases in California. In the last 11 months, California is reporting a 318 percent increase in cases of hepatitis A from 2015.
While the exact cause of the spread is unknown, the rapid increase in the spread of the disease may be rooted in the City of San Diego’s plan to relocate their homeless population in the lead-up to the MLB’s All-Star Game held at the San Diego Padres’ Petco Stadium last July.
San Diego officials blocked off access to public bathrooms and forced the homeless to relocate to tent cities that stretch eastward away from downtown near a series of freeway on-ramps. The city hoped to relocate the homeless, and the drug trade and prostitutes that follow them, away from the downtown core in an effort to promote tourism.
Another reason offered for the recent outbreak is San Diego’s plastic bag ban. As a result of the plastic bag ban, and the locking of public bathrooms, the homeless in San Diego were left with little choice but to dispose of human waste in the streets.
The homeless population of California has been allowed to flourish thanks to efforts of advocates for the homeless who lobby local cities to let homeless populations live in massive tent cities on public property. According to these advocates, all anti-homeless ordinances are an injustice comparable to post-slavery laws enforcing racial segregation.
Cases of the highly infectious Hepatitis A liver virus have spread across homeless populations living in tent cities from San Diego to northern Sacramento. Do liberals consider the unintended consequences of their actions?
San Diego officials enacted the Spencer Settlement in 2006 with the support of advocates for the homeless. Under the Spencer Settlement, the city’s police are prevented from enforcing illegal lodging guidelines between 9 PM and 5:30 AM each night.
These sorts of laws have made California very attractive to homeless Americans, and according to the 2015 data, the state has about 21 percent of America’s homeless residing in one of their cities. The same report showed that there were 115,738 homeless people living in California, with only 27 percent of them living in shelters.
The majority of California’s homeless live in tent cities, making the spread of hepatitis A difficult to stop.