Food-borne illnesses, a flu outbreak, hypothermia, sexually transmitted diseases and vermin are just some of the hazards experts say make Occupy Boston a public health disaster waiting to happen — as City Hall turns a blind eye.Working. Something he'll obviously never have to concern himself with.
“The longer you’ve got a big group of people in an unsanitary location, the more at risk they’re going to be for infectious diseases. Time is only beginning to tell where this is going to go,” said Janelle Vaesa, a public health researcher who has studied similar deteriorating conditions at Occupy Wall Street in New York.
San Francisco health officials report they’ve subjected that city’s two Occupy sites to twice-daily inspections, and have found a rash of food, garbage and other sanitation issues.
Yet, even as a strong stench has begun rising from Occupy Boston’s site in the heart of the city and a weekend snowfall looms, the Boston Public Health Commission told the Herald yesterday it has no plans to inspect the month-old encampment, where dozens of activists are sleeping in abutting tents, without on-site toilets, and food donations are sitting in crates on wet ground, though hand sanitizer appears to be readily available.
BPHC spokeswoman Ann Scales said Boston will offer Occupiers a free on-site flu clinic Friday and is mindful of the potential for “pest infestation.” There are no plans to conduct health inspections, she said, though she noted, “From our standpoint, any time people are living in close quarters, the odds of transmittable diseases is there.”
After a Herald inquiry yesterday, the Inspectional Services Department will pay Occupy Boston a visit today to check out its makeshift food preparation area, spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake said. City officials said no permits have been issued to the tent city established by anti-corporate protesters who say they are modeling a new society.
Occupy Boston spokesman Nadeem Mazen said the camp’s food and sanitation committees have met with a city official to discuss health issues, and insisted the food preparation tent is a “professional operation,” where food handlers use gloves and no food is cooked. Of the potential for health problems in the densely occupied half-acre, he said, “I’d be more worried about getting sick from working in an old building with bad ventilation.”
This is the decrepit mob Elizabeth Warren claims as her own. Good luck running on that, Lizzie.