House calls for investigation into whether Pentagon tried to weaponize ticks
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The House has called for an investigation into whether the Department of Defense experimented with weaponized ticks decades ago and if it affected the spread of Lyme disease across the country. 

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithLawmakers who bucked their parties on the T infrastructure bill House Democrats reintroduce bill to empower public sector unions Overnight Defense & National Security — Breakneck evacuations continue as Biden mulls deadline MORE (R-N.J.), would have the Defense Department’s Inspector General “conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.” 


Under the amendment, the inspector general would will also have to disclose “the scope of such an experiment” and determine whether any insects “were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experimental design.” 

The amendment was approved by voice vote last week and added to the House-passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Smith said he was inspired to write the measure by books and articles “suggesting that significant research had been done at U.S. government facilities” that would “turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons,” according to a statement on his website.

“With Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases exploding in the United States—with an estimated 300,000 to 437,000 new cases diagnosed each year and 10-20 percent of all patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease—Americans have a right to know whether any of this is true. And have these experiments caused Lyme disease and other tick-borne disease to mutate and to spread?” Smith said on the House floor Thursday.