By Emily Goodin, Senior U.s. Political journalist for Dailymail.com
A rat ran twice behind President Donald Trump during his press briefing on Wednesday, but the rodent moved too quickly for photographers to capture his appearance in the Rose Garden.
President Trump did not seem to notice the rat as he turned his back on the creature. But journalists at the White House rose garden had a privileged view of it as she rushed along one of the steps of the colonnade, in and out of the bushes that line the walkway outside the oval office.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue first appeared to reassure Americans that the country’s food supply could meet demand and that they should be alarmed at the sight of empty grocery shelves.
He appeared again as the president answered questions from the press about the nation’s response to the coronavirus.
A rat ran twice behind President Donald Trump at his press briefing on Wednesday, but the rodent moved too quickly for photographers to capture him
The rat ran twice along the steps of the colonnade, behind the president, in and out of the bushes that line the gangway outside the oval office
The rat looked large and healthy and completely disinterested in the press conference around it.
Rats have also been reported to be affected by the coronavirus. Many restaurants have closed, which is the main source of food for the creatures, leaving them hungry.
Rats are in survival mode, according to an expert, and will eat each other if they have no other food source.
“They are mammals like you and me, and so when you are really, really hungry, you will not act the same way – you will act very badly, in general”, Bobby Corrigan, urban rodentologist, said NBC News . “So these rats are fighting with each other, now the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the puppies.
The White House has had a vermin problem for a long time.
And Washington D.C. is located in the top five US cities for rat infestation.
In October of last year, a mouse fell through the ceiling of the press area and into the lap of Peter Alexander of NBC News.
Outside the building are several black box rat pest capture stations, which are common in Washington D.C.
In 2017, the administration submitted requests for pests to the General Services Administration (GSA), which helps manage the maintenance needs of the White House, referring to the mice and cockroaches running around the complex.
Other creatures appeared during the Rose Garden events: a black squirrel ran behind the then president, Barack Obama, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a press conference in March 2016
The White House has had a pest problem for a long time: a dead mouse was spotted in front of the press room in September 2019
There are large black rat traps placed around the White House and on the ground
Other creatures have appeared at Rose Garden events. A black squirrel ran behind then President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a press conference in March 2016.
The Trump administration is not the only presidential resident to repel rats.
In 1990, First Lady Barbara Bush told the Huffington Post about a rat who ended up with her in the White House pool while she was doing her rounds.
“It didn’t look like a Walt Disney rat, I’ll tell you,” she says. “I was out of this pool so much faster than I thought.”
“I swim with a mask, and it happened right in front of me,” she noted. “Fortunately, George Bush was there and drowned the beast. It was horrible.’