OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:52 PM – Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Concerns were raised regarding an illegal Chinese biolab discovered in California when contractors and local authorities claimed to have discovered vials with the labels “Ebola” and “HIV” while clearing up trash and other supplies at the location per CDC orders last week.
Federal authorities are currently being condemned for having “dropped the ball” in examining the potential countrywide scope of the dangers.
“It reads like a movie script and a horror movie script, when you detail all of those things that were missed,” Representative Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) said.
62-year-old Jia Bei Zhu, the owner of the lab, is reportedly a Chinese citizen and is also a wanted fugitive 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?” she continued.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) House Select Committee revealed last week that he was allegedly connected to the Chinese government.
They claimed that Zhu is a member of an international criminal organization with connections to the PRC and that he has previously stolen intellectual property valued at millions of dollars, according to authorities.
He was taken into custody in October, several months after a code enforcement officer had first expressed concern about a green garden hose protruding from a hole at the site. The code violation prompted a follow-up investigation that showed concerning findings, such as the discovery of thousands of vials containing biological materials and mice used in disease research.
“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,” Hinson said. “So clearly, we have some work to do to make sure we’re prepared, because we know China is doing everything they can to constantly undermine us.”
Local law enforcement contacted the FBI and the CDC, according to the House Select Committee on the PRC, however, neither agency agreed to look into the matter.
After officials got in touch with Representative Jim Costa (D-Calif.), he pushed the CDC to investigate and, according to reports, found “at least 20 potentially infectious agents.”
However, in a three-page report on the investigation’s results, the CDC stated that “no evidence of select agents or toxins” had been found. At the same time, local authorities and House members who are skeptical of the inquiry contend that the agency did not do enough.
“The CDC and others hung up on them, ignored them, until Congressman Jim Costa called them,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “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…”
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