Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has clarified that his policy on moving homeless people to residential recreation centers aims to remove them from “encampments” — a step that violates Centers for Disease Control (CD) guidelines directly.
In a Mar. 24 email obtained by Breitbart News from Lisa Payne, Mayor Garcetti’s Director of Public Engagement, to local leaders in Pacific Palisades — one of the areas to which homeless people may be relocated — Garcetti’s office stated (original emphasis):
We have embarked on this plan based on guidance from the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH) officials, who have shared with the City that community transmission through encampments poses a greater threat to general public health than through bringing individuals indoors into controlled environments with hygiene facilities and rigorous health monitoring.
The CDC guidelines explicitly state that local authorities should not clear homeless encampments during “community spread” of coronavirus, because of the danger of dispersing infected individuals who could infect others.
In a section titled “Prevention measures,” the guidelines specifically address “encampments”:
Unless individual housing units are available, do not clear encampments during community spread of COVID-19. Clearing encampments can cause people to disperse throughout the community and break connections with service providers. This increases the potential for infectious disease spread.
The city is not moving homeless people to “individual housing units”; it is moving them to recreation centers where temporary beds have been set up, spaced six feet apart.
A request for comment by the L.A. County Department of Public Health went unanswered.
The CDC referred Breitbart News to the guidelines above.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.