Some members of the United States House are concerned the Pentagon may have unleashed disease-infected ticks that caused the spread of Lyme disease.
Roll Call reports that on July 11, the House stealthily decided via voice vote to support an amendment to the 2020 defense authorization bill that would require the Department of Justice look into weaponized ticks.
According to the Congress-focused newspaper, New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher Smith wrote the amendment, which demands 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 review determines that such a project took place then the amendment reportedly insists the inspector general must present Congress with information on the scope of the research, including “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design.”
Smith, who is a co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus told Roll Call he hopes the inspector general will share information that shed light on these reports and could be used to hinder the spread of Lyme disease.
“We need answers and we need them now,” Smith told Roll Call.