San Francisco police, politicians react to President Trump's threat to 'intercede' to fix homeless problem

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- President Donald Trump took another swipe at California by criticizing San Francisco and Los Angeles for its homeless problem. By the way, he also came down on New York City. Mr. Trump said he may have to "intercede" but offered no solutions. He also spoke of police officers getting sick when dealing with homeless.

The president caught everyone's attention when he said police officers who interact with homeless people were getting sick.

We went right to the source, the San Francisco Police Department, which denied the claim.

"They are not only working to get others healthy, they are doing a great job in preventing illnesses upon themselves based on the work that they're doing," maintained SFPD Commander David Lazar.

But in Los Angeles, about three officers have contracted illnesses that have worried that police department enough that last Friday the chief introduced a UVC light machine that will be used at the substation next to Skid Row. It will decontaminate highly touched surfaces where bacteria live. And another machine will use ultraviolet light to disinfect shoes as officers re-enter the building.

"You take a look at what's going on in San Francisco. It's terrible. We're looking at it very seriously. We may intercede. We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It's inappropriate," said Mr. Trump during that interview with Fox News.

Through a spokesperson, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, "We can't respond to every tweet or rant. We are focusing on running the city."

But California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to the president's threat to "intercede."

"If interceding means cutting budgets to help supplement services to get people off the street, he's been very successful," stated Newsom.

San Francisco now spends $300 million a year on trying to solve the homeless crisis, a phenomenon that Mr. Trump said started two years ago. He may be wrong about that but it's true that in the past two years the number of homeless people in San Francisco has gone up by 17 percent, as people continue to walk past a problem that will take years to fix.
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