The Pentagon has been urged to investigate whether ticks were developed as ‘biological weapons’ amid a rise in Lyme disease cases in the US.
A bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote last week has demanded a thorough investigation into the source of the illness.
Pentagon officials will determine whether ticks and other insects were ‘weaponised’ and used in experiments by the Department of Defense between 1950 and 1975.
Politicians also demanded they reveal whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory either by accident or on purpose.
The number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the US has more than doubled since the mid-1990s, according to official figures.
Lyme disease is uncommon but can have crippling and even deadly effects – it’s most often spread by the bites of ticks.
US celebrities including Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Ben Stiller, and Alec Baldwin have all spoken about debilitating symptoms they battled after contracting the disease in the past.
New Jersey Republican representative Christopher Smith wrote the amendment to the 2020 defence authorisation bill.
Congressman Smith said: ‘We need answers and we need them now.’
Mr Smith demanded to know who ordered the potential programme and uncover if there was ever a release of diseased ticks.
The Defence Authorisation Bill must still pass in the Senate before it can be signed by President Trump.
Mr Smith said he was inspired to add the amendment to the defence bill after reading a number of books and articles.
These suggested that significant research had been done at US government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland and Plum Island, New York to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons.’
A book released in May this year titled ‘BITTEN: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons’ brought to light a possible link between the rise of Lyme disease and U.S. germ warfare.
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