By Rich Davenport, published November 13, 2021
Just in time for Regular Big Game Season in NY’s southern zone, articles are being published claiming whitetail deer have covid covid covid, although unknown how they got it! First reported in the NY Times (go figure), and reported on 11/2/2021 in the NY Post, the article claims Iowa researchers claim as much as 80% of the 445,000-strong Iowa deer population may carry the disease, according to a new “study.” Another claim made is the virus is 50 times more pervasive in deer than in humans.
A “pre-print report” awaiting peer review indicates lymphatic sampling showing antibodies to covid covid covid in deer killed on the roads and felled by hunters. Folks, this is akin to the hysteria attempted last year with the reports of tigers, cats and dogs testing positive for covid covid covid… However, like cats and dogs, rumens, both domestic and wild, have covids that attack them, too. In fact, several articles are published in the US Library of Medicine, hosted by NIH, from 1995 and 2010, discussing bovine covids and their transmissibility to wild rumens, like deer and elk. In fact, the 1995 study revealed the strains of BCoV were antigenetically indistinguishable between cow covids and other covids, including Human CoV, as genetics of these viruses, since they are from the same family, are very similar and difficult to distinguish from one to the next, as some genomes appear similar to human sequences; which was discovered in a 2010 peer-reviewed study.
Additionally, published peer-reviewed research papers from Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, United States, first published on August 21, 2020, details some efforts to determine what animal reservoir SARS 2 actually came from. Science had confirmed the incredible similarities between SARS, which was attributed to coming from bats (Chinese Horseshoe Bat) and the novel coronavirus 2019, but differences prompted a hypothesis that perhaps an intermediate animal was responsible for the mutations and transmission to humans. In other words, before the consideration of lab-manipulation, differences between SARS and SARS 2 could be due to the virus jumping from bats to a yet to be known animal, then to humans. The list of potential animals that could possibly be the answer included 252 mammals, 72 birds, 65 fish, 17 reptiles and 4 amphibians. Rating potentials for species created likelihoods based on similar amino acids to the human ACE2 receptor, meaning the similarities could have provided infection vector to one of these hundreds of possible hosts, before it jumped to people. 18 species were bucketed in the very high potential category, showing 23 of 25 amino acids as very similar to humans – old world primates and great apes. In the high potential bucket, 28 species were listed, among them 3 species of deer, including the whitetail deer. However, also in this group were 17 species of whales and dolphins, 7 species of rodents, 3 lemurs, and even the giant anteater! We have ferrets, mink, cows, goats, sheep, bison, and even hippos in the medium potential category, and so on. Yet, with covids being antigenetically indistinguishable, and the fact that it appears deer do not pass their covid infections to humans, it is clear the non-peer reviewed claims are flailing away to further the covid covid covid emergency.
I have had correspondence with several professionals, and it was disappointing to hear some in Albany DEC seemingly convinced this may be true. However, a source I have within the School of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, a wildlife veterinarian, who shall remain anonymous, as I did not get permission to use this doctor’s name as a source, concurred with my conclusions that this is highly likely to be BCoV, admitting there are many different coronaviruses, and the articles in question were pretty slanted, to say the least. Don’t be fooled, folks, we have more than enough peer-reviewed science that really debunks this claim as the junk it is. Pure propaganda for fear and dread.
It is a good idea, however, to remind hunters to take care when handling your harvest, including using gloves when field dressing as many blood borne pathogens can infect you if your skin is broken/ cut, allowing for blood to blood transmission. I know I was taught this in both Hunter’s Safety and Bowhunter’s Safety courses way back and to always wear field dressing or latex gloves when gutting the deer, and be careful when removing the lungs and heart from the chest cavity, as you have tight quarters and cannot see what you are getting into, and you have to reach in with both hands to grasp the esophagus and trachea, and then cut both as close to the neck as possible. Hunters must be aware of the possibility the broad head may be in there, or you may encounter broken ribs from the shotgun slug or rifle bullet. That dressing knife, too, can zip your fingers as well – I know, I do that to myself from time to time.
I will also make a prediction today, 11/13/2021, that at some point early next year, another study will be released indicating that wild turkey have covid covid covid, too (yes, turkeys can also contract coronaviruses,) as all mammals and birds have species-specific covids that attack them. Mark my words.