Watch: Bird Flu Vaccines ‘Ready for Mass Production’

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by Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., Childrens Health Defense:

Dr. Richard Bartlett, an emergency room director and former Texas Department of Health and Human Services advisory council member, joined “The Defender In-Depth” this week to discuss gain-of-function research on bird flu, bird flu vaccines and why the U.S. government set aside $1 billion for a zoonotic infection and flu pandemic.

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H5N1 and related strains have been identified in birds, poultry, cattle, mammals including cats and dolphins, and humans in Texas and Vietnam.

The New York Times reported there is a risk the virus could mutate and become transmissible between humans, and the Daily Mail claimed a new bird flu outbreak could be “100 times worse than Covid.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said her agency is taking the situation “very seriously.” Suresh Kuchipudi, Ph.D., chair of the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology department at the University of Pittsburgh, said, “We are getting dangerously close” to a bird flu pandemic.

According to Bartlett, the latest bird flu outbreak follows “patterns” similar to those seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bartlett said bird flu vaccines are already in existence and more are under development. He also suggested that gain-of-function research on bird flu viruses may be responsible for the outbreak and/or could cause a future pandemic.

Gain-of-function research may lead to development of lethal bird flu strain

As an emergency room doctor, Bartlett said he is seeing some patterns. “We’ve also had some telegraphing of what’s coming.”

He cited a prediction former CDC Director Robert Redfield made in 2022 that the next pandemic will be caused by a bird flu with a 10-15% lethality rate. “I have that in the back of my mind as I’m watching the narrative that’s being spun right now in the mainstream media … that there’s a bird flu that was first detected in Antarctica.”

Bartlett said, “There happens to be a biolab in the neighborhood of where that bird flu was detected,” implying that the virus may have originated from or escaped from that lab.

But according to Bartlett, such incidents may be used to create a narrative that a potential bird flu outbreak has a zoonotic, or animal, origin — similar to narratives that COVID-19 emerged from animals and not as a result of a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

“I’m starting to see a pattern of a natural origin narrative being created … of a natural origin of bird flu that’s going to be a pandemic,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett noted that, contrary to media hype, the person infected with bird flu in Texas merely had mild conjunctivitis, or pink eye. But Bartlett questioned how such a diagnosis was determined in the first place.

“A lot of questions come to mind,” Bartlett said. “Where did they get this test? Is the test accurate? One of the things we learned with COVID was there were a lot of false positives with the testing that they were doing.” This added to the overall case count and contributed to fear.

“I’m concerned … with the evidence that there’s gain-of-function research in labs with bird flu … that we might see something else that actually comes from a lab later. And we’re going to be told possibly that it came from nature and then find out later it came from a lab,” Bartlett said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has since 2021 collaborated with Chinese scientists in gain-of-function research on H5N1 avian flu virus. Bartlett said many of the same people involved with gain-of-function research on coronaviruses in the U.S. and China are also doing gain-of-function research with bird flu strains.

“We keep hearing certain names pop up over and over again with this gain-of-function research and the funding of it, like [the] EcoHealth Alliance, like Peter Daszak,” he said.

“After everything we just experienced and all the loss of life and bankruptcy and damage to the economy, families destroyed with COVID, why would you continue gain-of-function research?” Bartlett asked. “I think after what happened with COVID, you would think we would have learned our lesson.”

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