Salvo 12.08.2022 5 minutes

Rats, Rats, Democrats

Rat in a New York City Subway Station

Vermin of many varieties feed on the decaying corpse of American cities.

New York City rats now have Covid-19. That’s the good news.

In PCR tests conducted on nearly 80 Brooklyn rats, over 5 percent tested positive for the virus, according to a new study by University of Missouri and USDA scientists.

The bad news? The infected rats are likely to make a full recovery. As we learned in the early weeks of the international Covid freakout, without diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and being over the age of 85, Covid-19 is seldom fatal.

Antibodies were present in 16 percent of the rats tested, showing they managed to survive Covid, though no data was provided on whether they regained their sense of taste.

New York City rats also carry bacterial pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, and C. difficile, which can cause life-threatening gastroenteritis in people. They may spread Seoul hantavirus, which causes Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever and kidney failure in humans.

A story on the study mentioned that the discovery of Covid-19 in city rats “sparked concerns the disease could jump from the vermin to humans.” Personally, I’d rather bob for wet market apples in a tub of pure ChinaVirus than have a New York City rat crawl across my chest while I sleep.

While we don’t know the exact Covid survival rate of rats, it was accomplished without lockdowns, masks, social distancing, or vaccines.

While New Yorkers cowered in their apartments, avoided social contact, missed work, school, weddings, funerals of loved ones, and halted our entire previously scheduled lives, the rats just kept taking care of business. In fact, they are doing better than ever: rat sightings are up 70 percent over 2019.

Anyway, if you live in New York City and a rat sneezes into your mouth, you should pray it only had Covid.

And then you should move.

Country Mouse

Most people associate the state of Tennessee with its biggest city, Nashville, but I moved to Chattanooga. I didn’t leave New York, I figured, to live around a bunch of liberals.

Nashville is a fine town with great food and plenty to see and do, but it’s also an ignorant blue island in a deep red sea. Davidson County (Nashville) is one of only three counties in the Volunteer State that voted for Hillary and Biden, in a state that went 61 percent for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

On Orkin’s 2022 list of rattiest cities, Nashville rose seven spots, landing at #29. The top five rattiest cities are, in descending rank, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Curiously, the top 5 rattiest U.S. cities doubles as a list of the some of the cities most negatively affected by the implementation of Progressive policies, including anti-public safety, pro-homeless, anti-small business, pro-tax, and pro-public employee union initiatives.

As a kid in Tennessee, I saw New York City as the world capital of attitude; where no-nonsense people did no-nonsense things; New Yorkers spoke their mind and they were nobody’s fool.

Though certain people will always rally behind the idea that New York is “back,” it isn’t, and it won’t be. If there was any New York left in the tank, it wouldn’t have gone down like it did. Covid didn’t kill it. It just confirmed that it was dead. After 9/11, New Yorkers rallied, like heroes. In 2020, they folded like a new pair of khakis.

New Yorkers still speak their mind, but it’s a lot easier now that they all agree on literally Everything—or else. Now, New Yorkers actually are somebody’s fool. They’re all-nonsense.

Meanwhile, in my hometown, people basically ignored the virus. Businesses stayed open. At no point were masks required to do anything. I doubt more than 10 percent of the town has had a dose of the vaccine.

Democratizing Rats

By the end of his eight years as Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio seemed like the leftiest leftist who’d never leave. His list of qualifications as New York City’s worst mayor had long been long, and the impact of his legacy, shamelessly clear.

At the outset of the pandemic, de Blasio cut $106 million from the Department of Sanitation, which translated to 400 fewer sanitation workers, 464 fewer weekly corner basket pickups and more garbage sitting on the curb, and for longer. And at the end of the pandemic, he made the Covid-era temporary outdoor dining installations permanent.

The hastily constructed wooden dining sheds are unsightly, poorly crafted and mostly unappealing to diners. But New York City’s rats were overjoyed. 

Granted, there may be restaurant patrons who appreciate the bracing fumes of auto exhaust and weed during their meal, or who welcome the odd distraction of spending a few uncomfortable moments, speaking with a troubled stranger who’s naked from the waist down.

Presumably, these would be the same diners who are excited that dozens of jumbo rats are likely embroiled in a Roman orgy just inches away, right under their feet.

For Bill de Blasio, it’s part of his legacy.

The connection between the delusions of the Left and the prevalence of rats is uncertain—correlation, as we are always told, does not mean causation. What is known is that ultra-liberal solutions to actual problems never seem to work. And that rats, like Democrats, thrive in big cities.

Trash cans overflowing and tipped over; abandoned retail spaces; big wet bags of garbage ripped open, then scattered on the sidewalk: where these conditions exist, you can count on seeing plenty of them around. They always cluster around filth and decay, their presence another hallmark of a city in decline.

Timothy Wong, an exterminator, told the New York Post that “the rat calls we usually get were usually in lower income zones.” But now “it’s distributed throughout the entire city, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Madison Avenue, Park Slope. It’s everywhere now and I think it’s much more distributed than it’s ever been.”

What an achievement in the cause of equity! This must be Bill de Blasio’s proudest triumph, and I hope he knows about it. In New York City, he actually accomplished complete rat-ial equality.

I’m sure there are rats in Tennessee, but I haven’t seen one since I left New York City.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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