The Wuhan coronavirus death toll in mainland China has surpassed 1,000 people, as the country’s National Health Commission reported that a total of 108 people died on Monday — this being the first time a single-day death toll has reached triple digits.
In addition, local health officials said that the first U.S. evacuee from China known to be infected with the virus was mistakenly released from a San Diego hospital after an initial test found the person had not been infected — UC San Diego Health confirmed that the patient was returned to the hospital.
Understandably, anxiety in America is inching upward, so a story about US Customs and Border Protection intercepting a package of dead birds on a flight from Beijing is not helping matters.
(This being the same agency radical progressive Democrats want to abolish.)
As seen in a tweet shared Monday night from Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, the unsettling news prompted a lot of questions.
Border Patrol officers intercepted a passenger from China carrying 200 dead birds in his suitcase
He was trying to enter the country through Virginia with what could have been infected carcasses
What was he planning?
RT if we should ban all travel to and from China!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 11, 2020
Turns out, the birds could have been infected. Not with coronavirus, but with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu.
The dead birds were discovered during baggage examination at Dulles International Airport two weeks ago, on Jan. 27, according to CPB — the traveler said they were cat food.
It happened 2 weeks ago and we’re just now hearing about it ?
— Jenn (@Jennnilou) February 11, 2020
A photo shows what appears to be commercial packaging, with cartoon images of a cat and a dog on the plastic bag.
CBP seized the package from the traveler and its contents were incinerated.
Casey Durst, director of field operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said in a release that the birds are banned in the U.S.
.@CBP agriculture specialists at Dulles airport continue to protect our nation's vital agricultural resources and our economy by intercepting potential animal threats, like those posed by these tiny dead birds from China packaged as "pet food." Read https://t.co/uJj5o5xfmN pic.twitter.com/xTldZ6G6jM
— CBP Mid-Atlantic (@CBPMidAtlantic) February 10, 2020
“These dead birds are prohibited from importation to the United States as unprocessed birds pose a potentially significant disease threat to our nation’s poultry industries and more alarmingly to our citizens as potential vectors of avian influenza,” Durst said in a statement. “Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists continue to exercise extraordinary vigilance every day in their fight to protect our nation’s agricultural and economic prosperity from invasive pests and animal diseases.”
So thankful for Border Patrol!!
— Teresa L Cantrell (@TeresaLCantrel2) February 11, 2020
The CBP said during a typical day last year, agriculture specialists across the nation seized 4,695 prohibited plants, meats, animal byproducts and soil, and intercepted 314 insect pests at U.S. ports of entry.
Interestingly, there were many tweets calling attention to suspect Japanese wording on the package, here’s one such example:
The package is written FAKE Japanese word , with many terrible mistakes .
Lots of Chinese simulate Japanese such example .
They export many troubles and crimes all around the world feign to be Japanese .
— みえはる (@kJMzQvuyHYKPvmi) February 11, 2020
Kirk was taken to task by some for jumping to conclusions, with others calling him a racist. Naturally, there was also those wishing Kirk would contract a potentially fatal disease:
RT if you’d like to jump to conclusions
— Fifi Macaffee (@FMacaffee) February 11, 2020
I can’t believe the ignorance and racism from these people who think this is a good thing.
They don’t base their thinking on facts!
Just emotions and ignorance.
— Darlene (@leene50) February 11, 2020
RT if Charlie should go investigate the source of the virus in person, preferably sans hazmat suit
— Elijah (@FiveElks) February 11, 2020
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