Why would a bio-lab run by a shady Chinese company be operating in Reedley, CA in the central San Joaquin Valley?
What was supposed to be an empty building used only for storage was home to a black-market type of lab testing facility.
YourCentralValley.com reports that the discovery was made after a local code enforcement officer noticed this garden hose poking out a back wall of the building.
Public Health staff also observed blood, tissue and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and THOUSANDS of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material.
Additionally they found 900 genetically engineered mice, engineered to catch and carry COVID-19, living in “inhumane” conditions.
773 of the mice had to be euthanized, and officials found another 178 mice already dead.
“This is an unusual situation. I’ve been in government for 25 years. I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba.
Even county health officials were left in shock.
“I’ve never seen this in my 26-year career with the County of Fresno,” said Assistant Director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health Joe Prado.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the substances and detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents, including coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis and herpes, according to a Health and Human Services letter dated June 6.
Agents also found thousands of package boxes - many with shipping labels from China. Below is a photo included in court documents in California.
NBC News reports that an investigation found the tenant was Prestige BioTech, a company registered in Nevada and unlicensed for business in California. City officials spoke with Xiuquin Yao, who was identified as the company president, through emails included in the court documents.
Yao told officials that Prestige BioTech moved assets belonging to a defunct company, Universal Meditech Inc., to the Reedley warehouse from Fresno after UMI went under. Prestige Biotech was a creditor to UMI and identified as its successor, according to court documents.
Officials were unable to get any California-based address for either company except for the previous Fresno location from which UMI had been evicted.
"The other addresses provided for identified authorized agents were either empty offices or addresses in China that could not be verified," court documents said.
Is this illegal lab the tip of the iceberg? How many additional bioagent labs will be found?
THIS WAS A LUCKY FIND.
The lab was discovered by Reedley, CA city code enforcement officers when they saw a garden hose attached to the building and investigated.
This investigation into this illegal Chinese bio-agent lab must be handled at the highest levels of US law enforcement to determine a comprehensive plan to protect U.S. national security.