Did a US Bioweapon Program Help to Spread Lyme Disease?
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Did a US Bioweapon Program Help to Spread Lyme Disease?

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) wants the Department of Defense to explain whether the Pentagon used blood-sucking insects for biological weapon experiments between 1950 and 1975, reportedly helping to spread Lyme disease across the country.

According to the lawmaker, whose research is based on the book Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons by Stanford University science writer Kris Newby, evidence brought forward by the book shows that bioweapon specialists used ticks to cause severe disability and even death.

“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% of all patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease — Americans have a right to know whether any of this is true,” he said.

“And have these experiments caused Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases to mutate and to spread?”

But despite the congressman’s concern, Phillip Baker, the executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF), told reporters that the lawmaker is pursuing a bad lead, calling him “terribly misinformed.”

“[Smith] would be well advised to check the facts by consulting the experts on Lyme disease at the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] for accurate and reliable information before proposing such legislation,” he said.

In order to fully assess the government’s role, or lack thereof, in spreading ticks carrying Lyme disease, Smith wants the DOD to investigate. If something proves that research did happen, his legislation states, the Inspector General should then produce a report detailing the scope of the program and hand it over to lawmakers in the House and Senate Armed Service committees.

According to Bitten, scientists working with the Pentagon infected several insects, deliberately dropping them from the air during certain tests. The book also claims that uninfected bugs were also released into residential areas so officials had a better idea of how they would spread.

While the claims made by Newby may appear far-fetched, Smith is willing to press officials to find out more, especially because President Richard Nixon banned research into biological weapons in 1969. So if this program was, indeed, in place, Smith wants to know who put it into motion.

Government’s Dirty Tricks

It’s incredibly disheartening to think that a government agency would be willing to take part in a program with the goal of exposing countless innocent people to potentially deadly diseases. And what is worse is that the U.S. government was involved in similar if not more perverse actions in the past, going as far as pushing “eugenics-friendly program[s] designed to combat alleged overpopulation” in other countries.

And more recently, the Barack Obama administration was using covert drone operations to kill Americans without any due process, putting the president in the position of judge, jury, and executioner.

While it is our hope that this bioweapon program is, indeed, the product of someone’s wild imagination, it would not be surprising to learn that the government truly took part in it.

Comment section

2 thoughts on “Did a US Bioweapon Program Help to Spread Lyme Disease?

  1. This is almost certainly false. Ticks are slow-moving, they require specific environmental conditions and mammalian hosts to flourish, Lyme disease is rarely fatal, and if caught early it is easily cured with antibiotics. What kind of a military program would ever invest time and money pursuing such a lame-brained idea?

  2. to expound on PG’s comment; Lyme, when fatal (rarely), takes years to decades to kill it’s victims. Not a very good biological weapon in the traditional sense. However, in fairness, we know this now, Lyme was not widespread in the ’60’s, so it is “possible” that the government wanted to experiment in order to find out if Lyme could be a viable way to disrupt a mass of society (largely by overtaxing the medical resources of an area). With our knowledge of the disease today, it would be a poor biological weapon, but that does not mean that the government did not engage in these tests to find out. One point that I would like to clarify, Lyme is rarely identified early enough to eradicate. The tell-tale circular rings around the bite spot is almost never seen when the tick bites in it’s preferred location (body hair; namely the scalp). Additionally, it is currently estimated that the majority of bite marks do not produce these rings.
    As someone who grew up “in the woods” and was bitten dozens if not hundreds of times in my childhood, I can attest that one never actually feels the bite, and one only locates a tick by feeling the skin. What makes Lyme particularly difficult is A) it is spread by the “Deer tick” which is tiny (the size of the head of a pin), making it’s detection very difficult until after it is full of blood (usually many days after the initial bite, and B) Lyme has no set symptoms. It mimics so many other diseases, and is very difficult to detect after the first 36 hours. H have a friend with debilitating Lyme who was initially diagnosed with AIDS.
    As such, while I suspect that this is nothing more than a conspiracy theory, I can see why the elements of our government that do such things would explore Lyme as a means of warfare – it’s very difficult to detect, diagnose, and impossible to identify the source of the attack. If the disease spread and advanced more rapidly and had a higher mortality rate, it would be the perfect weapon for a nation with zero morals.

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