Dr. Birx calls for weekly virus testing – of cows

Former White House coronavirus official Dr. Deborah Birx has called for the weekly testing of every cow in America for bird flu.

Appearing on CNN this Tuesday, she was asked about the likelihood of the bird flu transforming into a COVID-like pandemic.

Birx responded by claiming scientists/government officials are making some of the same mistakes they made last time around.

Listen:

(Video Credit: CNN)

“This is why I’m really concerned because we’re making the same mistakes today that we made with COVID,” she said. “And what do I mean by that? We’re not testing to really see how many people have been exposed and got asymptomatically infected. We should be testing every cow weekly. You can do pooled PCR.”

“We have the technology. We’re — the great thing about America is we’re incredibly innovative, and we have the ability to have these breakthroughs. We could be pool-testing every dairy worker,” she added.

She wasn’t done.

“I do believe that there’s undetected cases in humans because we’re once again only tracking people with symptoms,” she continued. “When we did that with COVID, the virus spread throughout the Northeast undetected because it took a long time to get to the vulnerable individuals.”

“But in the meantime, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people were infected with asymptomatic or mild disease and never came to medical attention. We have to switch from symptoms to actually definitive laboratory testing. We have the capacity to do that today,” she added.

In other words, she recommends massive testing again — both for humans and also cows this time.

Responding on social media to Birx’s words, critics were full of mockery and snark, as well as references to past admissions she’s made.

Look:

In fairness to Birx, her remarks came just a day before the World Health Organization confirmed that a 59-year-old resident of Mexico died in April precisely because of the bird flu.

“The 59-year-old man, who had been hospitalized in Mexico City, died on 24 April after developing a fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea and general discomfort, the WHO said,” according to The Guardian.

“Mexico’s health ministry added in a statement on Wednesday that there had so far been no evidence of person-to-person transmission of bird flu in the case of the man who died, and that he had several prior health conditions. All people who had contact with him have tested negative,” the paper’s reporting continues.

The horrifying part about his death is that he died from a bird flu virus that had never before spread to humans.

That said, the bird flu strain he died of reportedly differs from the H5N1 strain of the virus that’s caused an outbreak among livestock in America and reportedly infected three dairy farm workers.

“A third farmworker in the United States has been found to be infected with bird flu, heightening concerns about an outbreak among dairy cattle first identified in March,” the New York Times reported late last month.

“The worker is the first in this outbreak to have respiratory symptoms, including a cough, sore throat, and watery eyes, which generally increase the likelihood of transmission to other people, federal officials said on Thursday. The other two people had only severe eye infections, possibly because of exposure to contaminated milk,” the paper added.

Vivek Saxena

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