US

Videos Show Maryland Senate President Calling Baltimore a ‘Warzone,’ Mayor Saying ‘You Can Smell the Rats’

By Zachary Stieber

Old video footage shows the current president of the Maryland Senate referring to Baltimore as a “warzone” and a “ghetto” while the previous mayor, while taking a tour of a neighborhood, says: “Whoa, you can smell the rats.”

Then-Mayor Catherine Pugh walked through part of the city with Fox 45 cameras in September 2018.

At one point, Pugh looks at vacant homes in the area and tells people around her: “What the hell? We should just take all this [expletive] down.”

“Whoa, you can smell the rats,” she soon adds. “Whew, Jesus. Oh, my God, you can smell the dead animals.”

Pugh, a Democrat, resigned in May amid investigations into whether she garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars through improper bulk sales of children’s books she authored.

Critics accused President Donald Trump of being racist for saying the part of Baltimore in Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D-Md.) district “is a disgusting, rat, and rodent-infested mess.”

Trump later called it a “very dangerous and filthy place” and said “no human being would want to live there.”

Baltimore was ranked among America’s “Rattiest Cities” by Orkin, a pest control company, in 2018. The rankings are based on the number of rodent treatments the company performed in 12 months from mid-September 2017.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh speak at the premiere of HBO Documentary “Baltimore Rising” in Baltimore on Nov. 16, 2017. (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for HBO)
Abandoned buildings stand in a neighborhood with a high murder rate in Baltimore, Maryland on Feb. 3, 2018. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Rodents are a major issue that can cause a slew of problems including structural damage and fires, Orkin said in the rankings announcement.

“Aside from causing structural damage, rodents can carry hundreds of pathogens that can transmit various diseases and dangerous parasites,” Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist, said in a statement.

“Additionally, they constantly leave behind droplets of urine as they travel each day. These droppings can contribute to asthma and allergic reactions, especially in children,”

“Rat Film,” a documentary about the city’s rat problem, aired last year, reported the Sun.

Meanwhile, a resurfaced video posted by Fox 5 host Tim Young shows Thomas “Mike” Miller, the president of the state Senate, talking about Baltimore in 1989.

Miller called the city a “[expletive] ghetto,” calling it “worse than inner-city Washington, D.C.”

Miller, a 76-year-old who has been a state senator since 1975, then adds “I hope you’re not gonna play this on tape” and laughs before turning back to the city, referring to it as a “warzone.”

“It’s crack, it’s these dime bags of PCP. We’ve got one-quarter of every kid is not in school each day, 50 percent of the kids that start off in school don’t graduate,” he said at the time. “So, looking at things from a statewide perspective, we really have to do things now.”