CDC Pushes for Action as Bird Flu Threatens Millions, But Faces Resistance by States 

United States: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disagrees with the state authorities and the dairy sector on their situational response to the widespread avian flu outbreak among dairy cows, thereby posing the challenge for President Joe Biden to track the virus that is threatening to spread and infect millions of people. 

More about the case 

Like many farmers in this instance, these farmers root for federal health experts to stay out of their property. The fear of federal experts being undermined in regard to animal health matters and that some federal measures might hamper the expeditious work of state and local health officials serve as the basis of the anxiety expressed by state agriculture officials trying to combat the current outbreaks. 

Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner said, “It’s overreach. They don’t need to do that. They need to back off,” as reported. 

CDC Pushes for Action as Bird Flu Threatens Millions, But Faces Resistance by States. Credit | Getty Images
CDC Pushes for Action as Bird Flu Threatens Millions, But Faces Resistance by States. Credit | Getty Images

States are showing objection to the CDC investigation 

Texas, the first state where the first case of bird flu was reported, had even shown objection to the CDC offering to conduct epidemiological field studies there, because as per the official’s statement, “We haven’t found a dairy farm that is interested in participating,” said Lara Anton, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

The opposition of the dairy farmers illustrates the trust gap between the main agriculture players in the red, but also in the blue states and the health authorities on the federal level. 

This concern is shared by public health experts – they fear that it may keep the country in the middle of the battle with the virus’ threat to humans. 

The principal Deputy Director of CDC, Nirav Shah said in a recent Council on Foreign Relations event, “The risk here of something going from one or two sporadic [human] cases to becoming something of international concern, it’s not insignificant,” as 

Shah added, “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,” and, “That’s a risk and one that we have to be mindful of.” 

Moreover, Dr. Shah and other senior CDC officers had requested the participation of federal teams during an audio call with a maximum of 50 state agriculture chiefs and veterinarians to conduct the health assessments of the farmworkers and myriad other activities, which include deploying a survey. 

This stance from federal agriculture officials garnered immediate criticism. The privacy issues on farms and the consequence of farmers having to give government workers tours of their properties were cited as concerns among the populace.