A scathing congressional report sheds light on new details about a convicted criminal from China who ran an unlicensed laboratory in California storing dangerous pathogens.
The 43-page report was prepared by a Republican-controlled House committee on US relations with China and specifically criticizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for not analyzing biological materials. discovered in refrigerators and freezers at the site in Reedley, California.
The document paints a picture of fraud and conspiracy between a biologist working under a false name and the Chinese Communist Party to violate US intellectual property laws.
The report follows an extensive investigation into the origins of the laboratory and the responses of local and federal governments to its discovery.
It also provides a fuller picture of the risky ways in which the lab owner acquired a wide range of dangerous diseases ranging from Ebola to malaria and Covid, which DailyMail.com has reported extensively on.
Mr. Zhu has claimed that he was simply a “special representative” of the company that preceded the one that ran the laboratory at Reedley. But employees have stated that Zhu is the “main man” and “owner” who actually controls UMI/Prestige Biotech’s operations at Reedley Biolab.
The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party began its investigation into the clandestine lab last spring, shortly after a Reedley code enforcement officer noticed a garden hose sticking out of a building where it should not have been. .
The lucky capture launched a combined state, local and federal investigation in March, which found a small room containing nearly 1,000 white mice crammed into storage containers under bright lights 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a airless room lit perpetually. dirty bedding. When investigators found them, there were already hundreds of dead.
A wide range of vials containing biomaterials, including blood and tissues, as well as many other unlabelled chemicals, were also discovered.
Some vials were found to contain chlamydia, E. coli, streptococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 5, rubella and malaria.
Nearly 1,000 mistreated and malnourished white laboratory mice in poor conditions were discovered at the facility. About 200 of them were already dead. The rest have been humanely euthanized by a veterinarian.
Several of the 32 freezers containing dangerous biological materials and pathogens that were found were malfunctioning, as power to the building had been cut off.
Among hundreds of vials of infectious viruses and bacteria, many of which were improperly stored in poor-quality freezers, were malaria samples, shown here, along with Chinese characters. Other infectious agents found included strains of the herpes virus, the bacteria that causes meningitis, chlamydia, Covid-19 and HIV.
It appears that biological waste produced at the site was disposed of in a manner that violated safe disposal protocols required under the state Medical Waste Management Act.
The owner of Prestige Biolab, formerly Universal Meditech, adopted the false identity of David He after illegally entering the US when he was issued an arrest warrant in Canada, where he remains a wanted fugitive facing a 330 sentence. millions of dollars for stealing American intellectual property.
The man’s real name is Jiabei ‘Jesse’ Zhu, a Chinese national who was ‘part of an ongoing transnational criminal enterprise with ties to (the People’s Republic of China).’
He report He also claimed that Zhu and his associates at the Reedley lab had purchased counterfeit Covid and pregnancy test kits in China and resold them in the US under the “Made in the USA” label. The Food and Drug Administration subsequently issued a recall of these tests.
The committee took special aim at the CDC for its “baffling refusal” to test samples found in the lab to determine whether the labels they contained were correct. The CDC also did not test the unlabeled samples.
The report said: ‘Local officials informed the CDC of their concerns. The CDC continued to refuse to test samples.
‘According to local officials, they also asked if the CDC could at least test a random sample for the pathogens. The CDC still refused.
‘Despite their limited local budget, local officials offered to pay the CDC the full cost of testing these samples. The CDC still did not do so and left the scene.
The committee document also said that local officials reported that the CDC hung up on them mid-conversation.
Now that the report is released, lawmakers, including Congressman Jim Costa, who represents Reedley’s district, are pushing for legislation to prevent illicit biolabs from operating undetected in the future.
In May, when CDC staff joined the local government investigation with an in-person inspection, they found hundreds of vials of infectious viruses and bacteria in the lab.
County officials were skeptical from the beginning about Mr. He’s legitimate affiliation with Prestige Biotech, noting that he did not provide satisfactory documentation to the county public health department that he was an authorized agent of the company or its predecessor. UMI.
A Fresno County employee said last spring: “Mr. He’s alleged lack of knowledge about infectious agents on the Property raises serious concerns about the lack of safety protocols and direction offered by Prestige Biotech and other business entities that handle these infectious agents as a serious threat to public health and safety.’