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2020: Bird Flu is Storming Across South Carolina

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A deadly and an infectious strain of the bird flu has been discovered in a commercial turkey flock in South Carolina.

This is the first case of a the more grievous strain of the disease in America since 2017 and is a concerning development for an industry that was highly impacted by previous outbreaks.

This case was found at an operation in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. The last case was discovered in a Tennessee chicken flock in 2017.

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In 2015, about million poultry were killed at operations mainly concentrated in the Upper Midwest after infections spread across the region.

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“Yes, it’s concerning when we see cases, but we are prepared to respond very quickly and that was done in this case,” stated Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The USDA has been collaborating in recent months with scientists and farmers in North Carolina and South Carolina, where a less severe variant of the bird flu had been discovered.

Low pathogenic strains of the bird flu cause few clinical signs in infected birds. However, two strains of low pathogenic bird flu — the H5 and H7 strains — can transform into more severe variants.

These variants tend to be more fatal to birds and can be easily transmitted to species more susceptible to the outbreak.

“Our scientists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory had looked at the virus characteristics of the low path virus and they had previously indicated that this was one that was probably likely to mutate so they were watching it very closely,” Cole commented.

A laboratory based in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that the virus which was responsible for the deaths of turkeys was a severe H7N3 strain of avian influenza.

According to a report, the outbreak was discovered on April 6. So far, the virus has killed 1,583 turkeys and the remaining 32,577 birds in the flock were euthanized.

State officials quarantined the farm, then they established movement controls, and implemented enhanced surveillance in the area.

“The flock was quickly depopulated and will not enter the marketplace,” said Joel Brandenberger, president of the National Turkey Federation, an industry trade group. “Thorough disinfecting and cleaning procedures have already been initiated on premises as well as surveillance of commercial flocks in the surrounding area. This occurrence poses no threat to public health. Turkey products remain safe and nutritious.”

Flu cases occur almost annually.

The majority of these cases are not severe, nevertheless, they show that biological threats are real.

A globalized world where unprecedented degrees of movement of people from regions that don’t have the same medical standards as America does present unique challenges for the country.

This illustrates the need for an improved health infrastructure and stronger border controls.

Not taking this into account, will leave America susceptible to future pandemics.

Big League Guns

Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation

Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.

Under The Background Check Expansion Act,  gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House

“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.

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According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.

Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms. 

Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.

Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. 

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