Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Congressional Committee Investigating Reedley COVID Lab
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 8 months ago on
August 25, 2023

Share

A congressional subcommittee has launched an investigation into whether the mysterious Chinese-linked lab discovered in Reedley “posed a threat to public health.”

Wednesday, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent letters to the FBI and Dept. of Health and Human Services, asking for documents and information by Wednesday, Sept. 6.

“It is highly concerning that an unlicensed lab operated by a Chinese company on American soil was apparently conducting dangerous research involving COVID-19 and other viruses,” Wenstrup wrote in near-identical letters to FBI Director Christopher Wray and HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra.

“It is highly concerning that an unlicensed lab operated by a Chinese company on American soil was apparently conducting dangerous research involving COVID-19 and other viruses.”Rep. Brad Wenstrup

The lab, discovered by Reedley code enforcement in December, led to a full investigation involving local, state, and federal agencies. Approximately 1,000 mice, genetically modified with COVID-19, were discovered along with other biological agents.

Court records indicate that Chinese nationals were behind the lab, operated by Prestige Biotech. The lab started under Universal Meditech Inc. but came under Prestige’s control after UMI had financial troubles. Prior to arriving mysteriously in Reedley, the lab operated for several years in Fresno. An attempt to move back to Fresno was recently thwarted by city officials.

Authorities shut down the Reedley lab, but information did not become public until July.

“As mounting intelligence and evidence supports that COVID-19 likely originated at a lab in Wuhan, China, conducting a thorough investigation into Prestige Biotech’s illegal bio-lab on U.S. soil is crucial to protecting America’s national security and preventing future outbreaks and pandemics,” Wenstrup said in a news release.

The requests include any documents and communications with Prestige/UMI; and any documents and communications with other local, state, and federal agencies. The letter to HHS also asked for information found by the CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins inspection of the Reedley lab.

Earlier this month, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, speaking to Fresno-area reporters, called for a congressional investigation into the lab.

More on the Subcommittee

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is part of the House Oversight Committee.

“We are committed to investigating the origin of COVID-19, but also assessing the federal government’s ability to keep America safe from biological threats. This assessment is critical to bolstering our ability to prepare for and prevent future pandemics,” Wenstrup wrote, describing the subcommittee’s work.

The 16-member subcommittee has nine Republicans and seven Democrats. Three are California members — ranking member Raul Ruiz, D-Indio; Robert Garcia, D-Long Beach; and Ami Bera, D-Sacramento.

Another notable name on the subcommittee is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia.

 

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Fresno County Appoints New Librarian. What’s Her Favorite Book Genre?

UP NEXT

Costa Seeks Legislation to Prevent Reedley Lab Repeat

UP NEXT

Legacy of Speed: The 1,600 Horsepower 1957 ‘Skeva’ Chevy Bel Air Built in Fresno

UP NEXT

KMJ’s Gabriel & Musson Win Radio Honors, Fresno Council Plaudits

UP NEXT

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

UP NEXT

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

UP NEXT

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

9 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

9 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

11 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

13 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

13 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

13 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

14 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

14 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

15 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

15 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter, another sign of the crisis gripping the aircraft ma...

8 hours ago

8 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

8 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
9 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

9 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

9 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

11 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
13 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

13 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend