A rat scavenges on the subway platform at Herald Square in New York City in 2017. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The CDC issued a warning on rats after it received reports of "an increase in rodent activity" in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: "Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas," the CDC said a statement posted to its website.

"Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior."
— CDC statement

The big picture: New Orleans stepped up rat control after an uptick on city streets. In Chicago, "hundreds of thousands" of the nocturnal animals are searching much further for food and in daylight hours, the Chicago Tribune reports.

  • From March-April, Washington, D.C., reported almost 500 rodent-related call-outs and Baltimore had 11,000 "proactive" calls and 311 online requests per NBC News
  • Rat expert Bobby Corrigan told the New York Times the rodents are "turning on each other," rather than threatening people.
  • "They are going to war with each other, eating each other’s young in some populations and battling each other for the food they can find," Corrigan said, adding rats in residential blocks have barely been affected by the pandemic.

For the record: The CDC recommends monitoring, controlling and cleaning up after rats.

  • "Preventive actions include sealing up access into homes and businesses, removing debris and heavy vegetation, keeping garbage in tightly covered bins, and removing pet and bird food from their yards," the CDC said.

Go deeper: America's rat renaissance

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.