New Pandemic May Be On Horizon

[Lorrie Graham/AusAID, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

In many perverse ways, the COVID-19 pandemic helped propel leftwing goals in 2020. From mail-in balloting to closing schools, Democrats across the country called for extreme measures in the name of public safety.  

Eddie Scarry, in his 2022 book, explained that the COVID 19 pandemic revealed a frightening side of the left, one that saw them worship bureaucrats with prayer candles while calling for the unvaccinated to be locked up. 

“Nothing quite revealed what absolutely horrific human beings that liberals could be quite like the COVID pandemic. The annoying things they’ve always done—nag, whine, lecture, tattle—came with the most precious gift in 2020: the backing, approval and moral authority of the state, as it’s conceived in the left’s mind.

With the sanction of the government to insert themselves in everyone else’s business, liberals felt free to pole vault atop the highest soap box and reign down their most wretched sanctimony—all in the name of “The Science.”

This remained true even into 2021. In March of that year, a full year after the initial pandemic alarm hit the U.S., Democrats and liberals were still hyperventilating over its spread: 82 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning voters believed the new coronavirus was a “major threat” to the entire US population “as a whole,” according to a Pew Research survey. Just half as many Republicans, 41 percent, agreed. This was well after learning that COVID was relatively harmless to the vast majority of us, with something like a 98 percent survival rate.”

Fast forward two years and another presidential election, and talk of a new pandemic is hitting the mainstream press. Get ready to see more discussion of the avian flu. 

CBS news writes that a rare human case of bird flu has been reported in Texas after a person came into contact with cattle suspected of being infected. The announcement comes days after federal agencies said the virus had spread to dairy cattle across multiple states, including Texas. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services said the patient’s only experienced symptom was eye inflammation. The person, who has remained unnamed, was tested late last week and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the results over the weekend. The person is now being treated with the antiviral medication oseltamivir, which according to the Mayo Clinic can be used to treat influenza A and B, as well as the swine flu. 

“This person has a very mild case — just conjunctivitis, which is pinkeye. That’s important to emphasize because it’s not in the lungs, it’s not pneumonia, which would make it easier to transmit from person to person,” Dr. Céline Gounder, CBS News medical contributor and editor-at-large for public health at KFF Health News, said on “CBS Mornings” Tuesday.

Human cases of bird flu, otherwise known as H5N1, are known to produce a range of symptoms, including mild ones like eye infection and respiratory symptoms, to more severe, such as pneumonia and death, Texas officials said. 

The Biden administration, according to reports, is ready to pounce. “Senior White House officials are said to be ‘closely monitoring the situation’ after Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was briefed last week before the announcement.

Former health officials said they were not comforted by the assurances made by the government – highlighting how the Trump Administration played down fears about Covid in the early days of the pandemic.

Ashish Jha, who led the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response, likened the cow-to-human case to ‘Russian roulette’.

He added: ‘You play that game long enough and one of these times it will become fit to spread among humans.'”

The Federal Drug Administration claimed earlier in the week that the United States maintains a stockpile of vaccines targeting avian flu, but not everyone is convinced, wrote Politico.

“’There are actually vaccines licensed in the United States for H5N1, and there are stockpiles where we believe that, if we needed to, they would be reasonably good matches,’ Dr. Peter Marks said at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington.

Whether the federal government would activate more production of those countermeasures depends on how the situation unfolds, Marks indicated.”Just because of being on edge from Covid, there are a lot of people looking at what’s going on here, and there’s probably a pretty low threshold to pull the trigger here,” he said. “This is one case we’re a little luckier because it’s a pathogen that we know. We know what this is and what we have in the freezer, so to speak. We have a little bit of a leg up on at least getting started.”

But Dr. Luciana Borio, a former FDA official, questioned the vaccines’ potency. The shots’ two-dose regimen, which the FDA approved in 2007, produced antibody levels expected to reduce the risk of getting avian flu by 45 percent.

‘I’m not as confident as Dr. Marks,'” she said.

In February, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst demanded “information about President Biden’s Department of Agriculture spending $1 million in US taxpayer funds on ‘dangerous bird flu experiments’ in cooperation with the Chinese government — and a researcher connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to a letter exclusively obtained by The New York Post.

Ernst (R-Iowa) wrote to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday for details about the project, which involves ‘a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus” and is being conducted ‘in collaboration’ with the UK, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wenjun Liu, a researcher ‘affiliated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Center for Biosafety Mega-Science Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens.’

The Biden administration awarded the $1 million grant from April 2021 to March 2026 for ‘wet-lab virology’ experiments involving ‘strains of avian influenza virus” that ‘pose the greatest risk to avian or human populations.'”

Last fall, a whistleblower claimed that scientists were paid off by the federal government to prevent them from connecting the origins of COVID-19 to funding from the United States to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

During the pandemic, many Democrats and some Republicans claimed that it was a conspiracy theory that Fauci’s obsession with gain-of-function research had anything to do with creating the coronavirus that led to the death of millions. 

As time has gone by, that idea has become less conspiracy-based and more of a likely reflection of reality.

[Read More: Biden Says He’s Not In Charge]

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