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April 1, 2024, 7:03 a.m.
How CDC Handled Congress' Probe of China-Tied Lab in California
How CDC Handled Congress' Probe of China-Tied Lab in California
['CDC', 'official', 'lab', 'Chinese', 'document']

Newly released records offer a glimpse of how federal public health officials reacted when questioned by Congress about an illegal, China-tied biolab in California. That... Read More The post How CDC Handled Congress’ Probe of China-Tied Lab in California app…

How CDC Handled Congress' Probe of China-Tied Lab in California

Another House panel, the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, ultimately issued a scathing report on CDC and other agencies for their handling of the illicit lab. "At the request of state and local officials, CDC participated in approximately 40 calls with federal, state, and local partners to support the review of material in the Reedley building," CDC spokesperson Nick Spinelli responded in a written statement Thursday afternoon. Documents show, CDC engaged last June with the office of Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., whose congressional district includes Reedley. The next day, Aug. 3, CDC public health analyst Jennifer M. Gaines wrote to staff about the urgency of gaining more information about the lab in California for the pending congressional oversight. Even if the CDC normally works through state agencies, it could have given the necessary contact information to local officials. A CDC spokesperson rejected the committee report's findings about the Reedley lab owned by Prestige Biotech Inc., or PBI. "CDC strongly disputes the report's conclusions critical of the agency," the spokesperson told Newsweek. "The report includes numerous inaccuracies, including both the charge that CDC did not respond to local requests for aid and the false implication that CDC had the authority to unilaterally investigate or seize samples from PBI's Reedley building."

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