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Pentagon IG Ordered to Probe U.S. Use of Ticks as Biological Weapons

HeadlineJul 18, 2019

House lawmakers have ordered an investigation into how the U.S. military experimented with parasites as weapons of war. An amendment to the recently approved 2020 defense authorization bill requires the Pentagon’s inspector general to investigate how the U.S. secretly tested disease-carrying ticks and fleas as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975. This follows the publication of the book “Bitten” by author Kris Newby, which tells the story of bioweapons researcher Willy Burgdorfer, who studied weaponized parasites at U.S. government labs. Newby contends Lyme disease escaped from a U.S. government lab at Plum Island near Long Island, New York, although that conclusion is widely disputed by medical professionals.

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