Trump's Attacks on the Homeless Are Getting More and More Unhinged

Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

President Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on both homeless people and the state of California on Wednesday. He told reporters that homeless people in San Francisco are polluting the ocean with used needles. He also said that the Environmental Protection Agency would issue the city a violation for its pollution, which he somehow views as related to homelessness.

“It’s a terrible situation that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco,” Trump told press on Air Force One. “And we’re going to be giving San Francisco, they’re in total violation, we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon.”

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He said that ocean pollution was “because of waste, including needles going through storm sewers.”

“They have to clean it up,” Trump said. “We can’t have our cities going to hell.”

Can we just pause to imagine a world where it makes sense to blame poor people for pollution and not fossil fuel companies?

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Trump’s string of thoughts on needles seems very wacky at first glance, but for his cheese brain it’s honestly surprisingly lucid. A half thought. There is a legitimate issue of beaches having to close because of medical waste, including needles, washing up on the shore. In Los Angeles in 2015, a spill at a sewage plant caused used condoms, tampon applicators, and plastic syringes to wash up on Dockweiler Beach. Last year, the City Council approved a $2.3 million settlement over the spill.

Crucially, though, no one has linked this problem to homelessness. It seems more much more likely that the source is frequently doctors who illegally dump their medical waste.

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Wealthy people in California have absolutely failed to look out for their neighbors while the state would rather criminalize poverty than treat people with dignity. The homelessness problem is the direct responsibility of all the state’s powerful and famous who don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

But since when does Trump care about pollution? Don’t forget this is the guy who said that windmills cause cancer. If he didn’t want needles floating in the ocean, maybe he shouldn’t have gutted the Environmental Protection Agency.

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