By Kelly Laco, Executive Editor Of Politics for Dailymail.Com
19:10 2 August 2023, updated 20:15 02 August 2023
- Late. Joni Ernst warns that China is ‘in our house’ and calls for accountability
- The laboratory was genetically engineered mice and experimented with HIV, herpes and malaria
- WATCH IT: First images of a Chinese-run lab in California experimenting with dangerous viruses and engineered mice
Late. Joni Ernst warns that China is ‘in our house’ and demands accountability after a California warehouse turns out to be an illegal Chinese-run virus lab.
Local and federal officials raided a laboratory in Reedley, California that was genetically engineering mice and experimenting with HIV, herpes and malaria.
Images obtained by DailyMail.com via court documents show thousands of dead mice stuffed into storage bins, haphazardly shoved onto shelves and freezers filled to the brim with vials of blood and plasma of unknown origin.
They also show stacks of boxes containing dangerous pathogens, including one labeled ‘malaria’ which also had Chinese writing on it. Unanswered questions remain about the lab’s origins, who ran it, and whether it posed a bioterrorist threat.
Ernst, R-Iowa, is now calling for congressional action to ensure that a situation similar to the lab leak in Wuhan, China that triggered the COVID-19 pandemic will never occur in a U.S. biolab
The senator told DailyMail.com in an exclusive statement after the bombing that ‘China is not just in our backyard, they are in our house conducting illegal risky research that poses a serious public health concern.’
“The world has already witnessed the impact of the Chinese state-run Wuhan Lab’s experiments on the coronavirus in bats, and I have been working to end taxpayer funding of these dangerous projects,” Ernst continued.
“We cannot allow what happened at Wuhan on our own shores. There must be accountability.’
FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed that a leak from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan likely caused the COVID pandemic.
“The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origin of the pandemic is most likely a potential laboratory incident in Wuhan,” Wray told Fox News in February.
China has denied this, saying Wray’s assessment has ‘no credibility at all.’
Ernst introduced the Accountability in Foreign Animal Research (AFAR) Act of 2023, which prohibits US taxpayers from going to China to fund animal experiments and research.
She had criticized President Biden’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) – which renewed a $2 million taxpayer-funded grant to the EcoHealth Alliance to research the bat coronavirus.
The grant was terminated under the Trump administration after it was revealed that the NIH sent US taxpayer dollars through EcoHealth to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which conducts risky research into gain-of-function – the deliberate modification of viruses to make them more infectious or mortals.
After a review, the Biden administration decided earlier this month to finally end funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review concluded that the lab is ‘not in compliance with federal regulations and is not currently responsible’.
In March, President Joe Biden signed a bill to declassify intelligence about the origins of COVID-19.
A 10-page report, released on June 23, showed how several US agencies besides the FBI – including the Department of Energy – now believe the lab leak is the most likely cause of the pandemic.
In March, investigators gained access to the warehouse, which is run by an organization called Prestige BioTech.
They discovered a small room with nearly 1,000 white mice gathered in storage containers under bright light 24 hours a day, seven days a week in an airless room on perpetually dirty bedding. By the time investigators found them, hundreds were already dead.
A wide variety of vials were also identified as containing biomaterials, including blood and tissue, as well as many other unlabeled chemicals.
Some were found to contain chlamydia, E. coli, streptococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 5, rubella and malaria. And it appears that the biological waste produced at the site was disposed of in a manner that violated safe disposal protocols required by the state’s Medical Waste Management Act.
To date, city officials have removed more than 5,000 gallons of biological waste from the site over three separate trips.
And while the exact origin of the lab remains unknown, county officials noted that the other addresses listed were empty offices in China or other addresses in that country that could not be verified.
Currently, the investigation of the origin of the laboratory is underway.