A secret Chinese biolab in California was exposed last week after local officials and contractors discovered pathogens labeled “HIV” and “Ebola” during a CDC-ordered waste eradication at the site, leading to criticism of federal agencies for their failure to thoroughly investigate the potential nationwide threat.
“It reads like a movie script and a horror movie script, when you detail all of those things that were missed,” Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Iowa, expressed on “FOX & Friends Weekend.”
Jia Bei Zhu, 62, the individual behind the lab, was identified as a Chinese citizen and a fugitive wanted in Canada.
“We want to know how he was able to obtain these pathogens. How is he able to get away with running a lab, getting millions of dollars sent to him from the Chinese Communist Party and then obviously coming into our country stealing American intellectual property?” Hinson continued.
The House Select Committee on the People’s Republic of China reported last week that Zhu allegedly had connections to the Chinese government. Zhu, accused of stealing millions in intellectual property, was part of a transnational criminal enterprise linked to the People’s Republic of China. He was arrested in October following a code enforcement officer’s discovery of a suspicious green garden hose at the lab site. This led to the uncovering of thousands of vials containing biological substances and mice used for disease research.
Hinson, along with others, is alarmed at the possibility of more hidden labs in the U.S., posing a national security threat.
“The FBI and the CDC really dropped the ball here in terms of investigating not only this illegal lab, but now we wonder how many more labs like this exist in the country,” she stated.
The House Select Committee on the PRC also claimed that both the FBI and the CDC were contacted by local law enforcement but declined to investigate. It was only after California Rep. Jim Costa intervened that the CDC conducted an investigation. The CDC’s investigation reportedly found “at least 20 potentially infectious agents,” but their final report concluded there was “no evidence of select agents or toxins.”
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticized the CDC’s response, stating, “The CDC and others hung up on them, ignored them, until Congressman Jim Costa called them. But when the CDC showed up they should’ve done what was right then, and they did not. They did not test the pathogens. They did not even find all of them. They left a freezer with Ebola in it, and we know how lethal that is…”
In response to the House committee’s report, the CDC issued a statement disputing the report’s conclusions and defending its actions. The CDC asserted its active engagement within its regulatory authorities in addressing issues surrounding the facility.
Meanwhile, President Biden’s recent welcome of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit drew additional criticism from Republicans.
“It’s a true slap in the face to Americans,” Hinson remarked. “The Newsom administration and the Biden administration really rolled out the red carpet for President Xi. A genocidal dictator came to town, they cleaned up San Francisco, did a parade that was fitting for a hero’s welcome, and then hosted him as a guest of honor at a boozy dinner. Meanwhile, in Reedley, California, we’re busting an illegal biolab…”
“They had over a thousand mice that were designed to transmit COVID. So this administration needs to hold China accountable for its role in spreading COVID around the world, and it’s very clear of their intention here, which was to do more damage to our country,” she added.
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