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House Passes Amendment to Investigate DoD Insect Bioweapon Program

SubverseJul 19, 2019, 10:08:28 PM

By Tarik Johnson

New Jersey Senator Chris Smith introduced an amendment passed by the House of Representatives that directs the Department of Defense Inspector General to investigate whether the DOD was developing insect bioweapons. Senator Smith is concerned if the government had been experimenting with tick bioweapons, that it is possible some were accidentally released and are now causing the increase in tick-borne illnesses.

“With Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases exploding in the United States—with an estimated 300,000 to 437,000 new cases diagnosed each year and 10-20 percent of all patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease—Americans have a right to know whether any of this is true. And have these experiments caused Lyme disease and other tick-borne disease to mutate and to spread?” Smith asked.

Senator Smith says he was “inspired to write the amendment because of a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at U.S. government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland and Plum Island, New York to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons.”

He specifically cited Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons by Kris Newby. In the book, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, the researcher credited with discovering lyme disease, is revealed to be a bioweapons specialist. Together with Dr. Burgdorfer’s lab files and interview suggests that the doctor and other bioweapons specialists injected ticks with an assortment of pathogens to cause severe disability and death. The experiments are said to have taken place from 1950 to 1975.

If the experiments really happened, the amendment would require the DOD to provide a report explaining, “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that climate change and suburban development are what is causing the rise in vector-borne diseases. In a public service announcement on climate change increasing the number and range of insects and ticks the CDC wrote, “One way climate change might affect human health is by increasing the risk of vector-borne diseases. A vector is any organism – such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes – that can transmit a pathogen, or infectious agent, from one host to another. Because warmer average temperatures can mean longer warm seasons, earlier spring seasons, shorter and milder winters, and hotter summers, conditions might become more hospitable for many carriers of vector-borne diseases.

Even though Senator Smith seems convinced that the experiments might have happened, another scientist is pushing back. In a statement given to the Washington Post, Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said “there’s just no credible evidence” in reference to the tick weaponizing. Osterholm explained that worked for Burgdorfer and knew the disease wasn’t truly discovered or named until 1977, when two women in Old Lyme, Connecticut reported symptoms of arthritis.