In 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1276, popularly known as “Skip the Stuff,” restricting plastic straws, utensils, and condiment packs in restaurants. This year, Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta are skipping “stuff” much more dangerous than plastic straws.
Last December in Reedley, a city of 25,000 near Fresno, city inspectors noticed a garden hose attached to an abandoned warehouse. Inside they found a secret, illegal biolab harboring, as the Mid Valley Times reported, hundreds of allegedlygenetically engineered mice, “potentially infectious” bacteria, and viral agents, including chlamydia, E. Coli, streptococcus pneumonia, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 5, rubella, and malaria.
Freezers and refrigerators on the property contained biological material, blood, tissue samples, bodily fluid samples, and medical waste. An outfit called Prestige Biotech moved the operation—originally a lab in Fresno operated by Universal Meditech Inc.—to Reedley in October of 2022, without any of the necessary permits.
Prestige Biotech owner Xiuqin Yao told code enforcement officer Jesalyn Harper that “she lives in China and could only communicate by email,” the California Globe reports. Harper was unable to find a single person willing to identify as the owner of the business.
On Aug. 8, the San Joaquin Valley Sun ran a report headlined “Newsom administration muzzled Fresno Co. disclosure of Reedley COVID lab, county officials claim.” The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) demanded a retraction from the California Globe, which had not published the story, and the CDPH contended that the Reedley facility was “not an operating laboratory, but instead a storage facility.”
As of Aug. 14, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the CDPH had issued no official statement on the illegal lab. Bonta, busy challenging parents who want to be notified over gender propaganda in schools, had nothing to say about the ramshackle facility.
Newsom, who had been threatening a school district for rejecting a textbook celebrating sexual predator Harvey Milk, was stone silent on the Reedley lab. As of Aug. 14, Newsom’s news website was still ignoring the illegal Chinese operation. That should come as no surprise.
In April of 2020, Newsom went on national television to announce a $1 billion deal for face masks with the Chinese company Build Your Dreams, which is not known for protective equipment. The governor refused to share details with fellow Democrats, and what happened to the $1 billion remains something of a mystery.
Long before Newsom’s mask deal, California hired a Chinese company, the state-owned Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, to build the new span of the Bay Bridge. At the time, the Chinese company had no experience building bridges, and it showed. The project came in 10 years late, $5 billion over budget, and riddled with corrosion, bad welds, and other safety issues. When informed of the safety issues, Gov. Jerry Brown famously said, “I mean, look, s%&t happens.”
Brown protégé Gavin Newsom—Brown appointed Newsom’s father as a Superior Court and Appeal Court judge—is taking a pass on doings in Reedley, and so have major California newspapers. By contrast, reports on the lab by the California Globe have gone viral and attracted national attention.
Frank Gaffney, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs under President Ronald Reagan and founder of the Center for Security Policy, held a webinar titled “Chinese Carry-Out: A CCP Biowarfare Lab in California?.” Responses on the lab ranged from “some fly-by-night Chinese businessmen” to “advance force operations” by China’s military, somehow missed by U.S. intelligence.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deploys the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), tasked to prevent infectious diseases from reaching American soil. The vaunted EIS failed to stop COVID from arriving stateside and did nothing to prevent or expose the covert Chinese lab in Reedley.
Many more covert operations could still be in place. It may not be possible for California’s governor, or anybody else, to ignore them forever.
This article was also published in The American Spectator