Illegal Chinese-Linked Biolab Unearthed in California; Mice Engineered to Carry COVID-19 Found

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In a rather horrifying discovery, Fresno County authorities have uncovered an illicit laboratory harboring infectious agents, medical waste, and genetically engineered mice designed to catch and carry the COVID-19 virus.

The investigation, spanning several months, was initiated after a vigilant code enforcement officer noticed a garden hose protruding from the back of a rural California warehouse.

Health and licensing authorities have revealed that the unlicensed facility belonged to Prestige Biotech, a Chinese medical company registered in Nevada, operating clandestinely in Reedley, California, a small city situated about 24 miles southeast of Fresno.

Remarkably, Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba expressed utter surprise, stating that the city was entirely oblivious to the company’s secretive operations.

“Prestige Biotech never held a valid business license, and they were surreptitiously operating under the cover of darkness,” Zieba told USA TODAY.

Within the facility, county public health officials made alarming discoveries, including medical devices suspected to have been developed on-site, such as COVID-19 and pregnancy tests.

“The small, rural town of 26,000 was taken aback when we stumbled upon lab supplies and live white mice inside what was assumed to be an abandoned building,” Zieba added.

Repeated attempts to engage with Prestige Biotech proved futile, as the company evaded divulging vital information and disregarded orders related to hazardous and medical waste disposal.

Fresno County officials have now levied accusations against the company for its lack of cooperation.

Court documents indicate that Fresno County Public Health personnel completed the abatement of all hazardous materials found in the facility by July 7.

Additionally, investigators found at least 20 infectious agents during the inspection, leading to an urgent call to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The investigation posed additional challenges as the warehouse was private property.

Subsequently, federal, state, and local agencies, including the FBI and the county health department, united to conduct a thorough investigation.

An inspection warrant was finally served in March, uncovering disturbing evidence of the lab’s operations.

“Certain rooms of the warehouse contained vessels of liquid and various apparatus. We also observed blood, tissue, bodily fluid samples, serums, and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material,” court documents stated.

The warehouse held hundreds of mice, kept under deplorable conditions in overcrowded cages without access to food or water.

Shockingly, an associate of Prestige Biotech revealed that these mice were genetically engineered to catch and carry the COVID-19 virus.

As part of the abatement warrant, the city seized the mice in April, but tragically, 773 of them had to be euthanized due to their deteriorated state. Nearly 180 mice were found dead at the scene.

The situation took a dire turn when the CDC was summoned to inspect approximately 30 freezers and refrigerators found in the facility, some of which were set at temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees.

The CDC identified at least 20 potentially infectious agents within the samples collected during the investigation.

City officials also delved into the background of Prestige Biotech, revealing that the unlicensed and unregulated laboratory had been operational since October 2022.

Email correspondence between city officials and Xiuquin Yao, the company president, disclosed that Prestige Biotech had acquired assets from the now-defunct company Universal Meditech Inc. (UMI) and consequently became its successor.

According to court documents, these assets were relocated from a Fresno-based site to the Reedley warehouse.

The investigation, however, yielded no verifiable California addresses associated with Prestige Biotech, except for UMI’s Fresno location. Other addresses provided were either vacant offices or unverifiable addresses in China.

Throughout the investigation, the company maintained that it was “engaged in manufacturing COVID-19 and pregnancy tests with a focus on becoming a diagnostics lab”.

This revelation has sent shockwaves through the local community and raises significant concerns about the potential hazards and security implications of unauthorized Chinese biolabs operating in the United States.

Authorities continue to probe the matter, and Prestige Biotech is likely to face severe consequences for its unscrupulous activities.

Makes you wonder what else is going on right under our noses.

Read the original story here:
USA Today

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biolab California Chinese-linked Covid-19 Fresno health Illegal infectious agents inspection investigation licensing mice Prestige Biotech public health officials unlicensed facility

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