By Thomas J. Edwards — Commentary—
Somewhere deep in the bowels of the Agriculture Department bunker in Washington is a collection of pasty-faced bureaucrats huddled to decide if the president should order a massive chicken mask manufacturing effort to attack the surging chicken flu epidemic.
For the time being, the government is “depopulating” flocks of sniffling chickens. Yes, depopulating. Depopulate is a soft term used by the government to remove the prospect of a nationwide visual of colossal chicken slaughters and massive burials.
The question now is will our dear leader Joe Biden order an epic production of chicken masks and put pharmaceutical giants to work developing an oral chicken vaccine, thereby pumping billions of tax dollars into favored industries? How would you place a mack over a chicken beak and keep it in place? And wouldn’t the chicken starve?
Let’s face it folks. The average American is going to take a bit hit in the pocket no matter what Uncle Joe does. Seven years ago, a bird flu outbreak across 15 states killed 50 million chickens. That cost taxpayers $1 billion.
The new outbreak is confined to Kentucky and Virginia so far. But bird flu moves quickly.
Regardless of the extent of the outbreak — it now looks like the bird flu will be difficult to contain — the result will slam us both economically and socially. Summer is approaching, the first summer in two years to socialize without masks, and the cost of scarce chickens for backyard and roadside barbecues will be huge.
Let’s not forget about Thanksgiving. If you thought inflation took a big bite out of your wallet last Thanksgiving, that cost will be minuscule compared to the potential scarcity of Turkeys this coming Thanksgiving if the approaching epidemic is not contained.