The two Occupy D.C. sites in the nation’s capital are infested with rats.
D.C.’s Department of Health Director Mohammad Akhter said the rat population at the two locations has “exploded” since the vigil began in October, The Washington Post’s Breaking News blog
City health inspectors have seen rats running openly at the camps and reported burrows and nests underneath pallets occupiers are using for beds. Protesters at the McPherson Square site closed down their kitchen after health inspectors noted unsanitary conditions, according to the Post.
Akhter ordered a review of conditions at the sites that included reports from health inspectors, mental health professionals, and experts on the homeless. Akhter said he will advise the federal government to close the camps if necessary.
“Going down to these camps, it’s no different than refugee camps,” the Pakistan native told the Post. “People are living in very primitive conditions and they’re doing it by choice. They are very brave and thoughtful people, but my concern is that they should also take care of themselves. When the weather goes bad, suddenly we’re watching a tragedy unfold in the middle of Washington, D.C.”
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