Kris Newby: Lyme Disease and America's Secret Bioweapons Programs
Investigative journalist Kris Newby has uncovered compelling evidence suggesting that secret bioweapons programs involving insects, conducted by the military and intelligence communities in the United States, may have led to the outbreak of Lyme disease.
In this interview with The New American, Newby discusses the key findings of her book Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, which reveals shocking details about these covert programs and their potential connection to Lyme disease, which affects over half a million individuals annually. The interview delves into the history of bioweapons research, specifically the bug-borne bioweapons program of the 1950s and 1960s, where insects such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes were explored as carriers of deadly pathogens.
Willy Burgdorfer, a central figure in Newby's research and the discoverer of Lyme disease, played a crucial role in this program. Burgdorfer, brought to Rocky Mountain Labs in 1951, researched turning arthropods into bioweapons that could be deployed covertly, affecting populations without destroying infrastructure. The writer highlights an alarming experiment involving the release of radioactive lone star ticks in coastal Virginia during the late 1960s, likely contributing to the spread of tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Newby stresses the need for transparency, the declassification of relevant records, and further scientific investigation into the genomes of pathogens carried by ticks.
The interview also raises concerns about the lack of oversight during the Cold War bioweapons programs and questions the current safety of biolabs, especially considering the proliferation of bio-level three and bio-level four labs since 9/11. Newby suggests that CRISPR technology, which allows genome manipulation, poses additional risks, and calls for increased regulation and transparency in the field of biodefense.
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