So, remember that CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORY that's been going around for years that our government infected ticks with Lyme disease, which weaponized them, and then accidentally let them loose on Plum Island, 285 miles from Lyme, CT and that's why we are in an epidemic of Lyme disease right now? It has become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States with almost 400,000 new cases reported annually.
July 2019 "The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm — either accidentally or on purpose."
Rapid Growth of Lyme Unchecked
More people are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually than with HIV/AIDS or breast cancer in the U.S.
Since Lyme disease was identified in 1975 by Dr. Allen Steere when he was investigating a cluster of cases of rheumatoid arthritis in children in Lyme, Connecticut, it has become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States with 380,690 new cases in 2015 alone at a cost of more than $4.2 billion. Lyme disease has been reported in all 50 U.S. states, and the number of high-risk counties has increased 320% over the past two decades.
Lyme disease is called “The Great Imitator” because it can mimic many other diseases. It is common for patients with Lyme to be misdiagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia, psychiatric illnesses, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
Undiagnosed, untreated, and inadequately treated Lyme disease patients represent an enormous social and economic burden with lifelong costs for unemployment, Medicaid, Medicare, disability, and welfare for people who can no longer work or manage everyday activities.
Lyme disease specialists believe the true number of people with the disease could be in the millions, most languishing under misdiagnoses, or falsely accused of imagining or fabricating the illness that has disabled them.
Pentagon to Confirm or Deny Weaponizing Ticks
The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm — either accidentally or on purpose.
The unusual proposal took the form of an amendment that was adopted by voice vote July 11 during House debate on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which lawmakers passed the following day.
The amendment, by New Jersey Republican Christopher H. Smith, says the inspector general “shall 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.”
If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments’ scope and “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design.”
The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers — at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York — implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents.
President Richard Nixon banned U.S. government research into biological weapons in 1969, but research into protecting U.S. military personnel from such agents may have continued, Smith said in an interview Monday.
A book called “Bitten,” published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks.
To Smith and other advocates of the Pentagon IG report, studying the past may provide data that can help stem the spread of Lyme disease in the future.