If there’s any doubt that the Chinese regime is a dangerous and bad actor this ought to end it.
An FBI report is confirming that in November 2018, a Chinese biologist was stopped by Borders and Customs Enforcement. In his luggage, were three vials – carrying live samples of MERS, SARS and flu virus.
The report indicates:
“Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” says an unclassified FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.
The report, written by the Chemical and Biological Intelligence Unit of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD), does not give the name of the Chinese scientist carrying the suspected SARS and MERS samples, or the intended recipient in the U.S. But the FBI concluded that the incident, and two other cases cited in the report, were part of an alarming pattern.
The FBI does not state precisely what sort of biosecurity risk these cases could present, but Raina MacIntyre, a professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said the FBI appears to be concerned with dual-use research that would be used for bioterrorism. And if the illicit samples cited in the report were being brought into the U.S., she says, the traffic is likely to be both ways.
“How do you know what they’re bringing in and out unless you have a comprehensive surveillance point?” she asked. “If it’s going one way, it’s going the other way. You’d be very naive to assume otherwise.”
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, who worked on China issues on the National Security Council under the Trump administration, said “there is a threat” posed by Chinese nationals carrying biological samples but believes it’s “likely the carrier … would be someone who is unwitting,” making it hard to determine the intent. “Some likely could be deliberate, to test our ability to identify and intercept. Others could be opportunistic,” he said.
The report doesn’t have a direct bearing on the origin of the COVID-19 virus – but it does mean that China can’t be trusted with anything. It’s a chilling thought.
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