Texas Officials Shut Down Live Stream of Infectious Disease Training, Cite ‘Copyright Issue’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

HOUSTON, Texas – Moments before a pandemic preparedness training workshop was schedule to begin live streaming, the live stream was cancelled. Officials cited copyright issues as the reason for the cancellation.

The workshop, titled “Pandemic Preparedness: a 21st Century National Security Mission” was schedule to begin on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Breitbart Texas contacted officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) who were hosting the event when the broadcast did not begin at the scheduled time. The contact person responded that the presenter, U.S. Air Force retired Colonel Randall Larsen, announced his presentation could not be live streamed because he was not able obtain a copyright release on the videos contained in his presentation.

Col. Larsen is a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University.

The TDSHS presented a three-day workshop to provide training for High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) in Houston on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The workshop offered a variety of sessions including: Threat Briefing, Ebola Successes and Challenges, Local and Regional Preparedness and Response Strategies, State and Federal Preparedness and Response Strategies, Pandemic Preparedness, Behavioral Response to a High Consequence Infectious Disease, How to deal with “at risk” persons, Public Health Law, Risk and Crisis Communication, and Emergency Management.

No notice of the cancelled live stream was given to the public. Official at the workshop said they were told not to live stream the workshop “right before we started.” He said the presentation contained video segments that cannot be live streamed because of copyright issues.

The workshops are being conducted as Texans are learning about a possible outbreak of the Zika virus. As of Wednesday evening, ten cases of people being infected with the Zika virus had been confirmed in Texas, as reported by Breitbart Texas’ Merrill Hope. Nine of those occurred after a person returned from traveling to a country where the Zika virus was actively spreading. The tenth case was reportedly contracted in the U.S. by sexual contact with an infected person.

Also on Wednesday evening, Breitbart Texas reported on a doctor who said that mosquitoes in Texas could contract the virus from an infected person and then spread that infection to other people by biting them. “Once that occurs, it’s almost impossible to get the virus out of the population,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He also serves a director of infectious diseases at Children’s Medical Center.

In an interview with NBCDFW in Dallas on Tuesday, Dr. Kahn said, “As we head towards springtime, if we have a lot of people infected with Zika, either because they are imported cases or sexually acquired cases, that may trigger the mosquitoes to get infected with the virus and start that transmission cycle. And, once that occurs, it’s almost impossible to get the virus out of the population.”

Officials are currently warning people to avoid travel to countries were an outbreak of the Zika virus is underway and to avoid sexual contact with a person who may have been exposed to the Zika virus. They also caution people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Breitbart Texas has requested a copy of the Colonel’s presentation and was told that one would be provided. That presentation has not been received as of the time of this publication.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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