Sunday, May 19

Biden admin battle with state officials in Texas, Idaho over bird flu outbreak: ‘Bless their hearts’

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials attempting to investigate dairy farms and cows for bird flu are facing opposition from farmers and state officials. 

The CDC has warned that bird flu cases carry a risk of becoming another pandemic. But the agency, which became a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic, is facing resistance from state officials and dairy farmers, especially in Republican-controlled states. 

“It’s overreach,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told Politico. “They don’t need to do that. They need to back off.” 

DAIRY FARM WORKER INFECTED WITH BIRD FLU; CDC URGES WORKERS TO WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR

“We haven’t found a dairy farm that is interested in participating,” Lara Anton, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, told the outlet.

CDC Principal Deputy Director Nirav Shah stressed the severity of the situation.

“We’ve all seen how a virus can spread around the globe before public health has even had a chance to get its shoes on,” he said. “That’s a risk and one that we have to be mindful of.”

Some officials argued that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rather than the CDC, should be conducting bird flu investigations.

“Decouple it from an FDA and a CDC issue,” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “This is a workforce concern that really ought to be expressed from the USDA and Secretary [Tom] Vilsack.”

TEXAS CATS DIE ON DAIRY FARM AFTER DRINKING RAW MILK CONTAMINATED WITH BIRD FLU, CDC WARNS

Other officials believe that the CDC is asking for too much from dairy farmers. 

“Bless their hearts, CDC wanted to know everything,” Idaho Division of Public Health’s medical director, Dr. Christine Hahn, said. “The concern is that it is so lengthy and so detailed that you’ll actually just get a lot of inaccurate answers.”

“The dairies are considering it. Nothing’s been decided, but they would prefer local health do that, not CDC or even us, which we totally are okay with,” Hahn said. “I think the more local things can get done, the better. It strengthens those relationships.”

Some experts requested that the CDC interview farmers on a voluntary basis. 

“We have had conversations with CDC,” Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Dr. Justin Smith said. “We’re willing and the dairies are willing to work through our local public health [offices], there’s been a relationship built there.”

“Having CDC show up with a response team is very intimidating to the workers,” Smith added. “And it’s intimidating to the dairies.”

The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare and the Kansas Department of Agriculture did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. Neither the CDC nor the Texas Department of State Health Services provided comment.

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *