Why was there an illegal China-linked bio lab in Fresno?

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

You would think that this would get a bit more attention than it has. It certainly piqued my interest when I saw it.

A China-linked company ran a grossly unsafe bio lab filled with deadly pathogens in a supposedly empty warehouse in Fresno, California. A company without much of a backstory, addresses that don’t exist, and a president who can only be reached by email.


No, this is not the plot of a bad movie. A Chinese company that nobody knows much about took over an abandoned building, set up a grotesque unsanitary bio lab complete with genetically engineered mice, stored HIV, Malaria, COVID-19, Hepatitis, and other viruses as well as vats of “biological material” for purposes unknown.

On March 3, an illegal bio lab was discovered in a believed-to-be vacant building in Reedley, California in Fresno County. City code enforcement stumbled upon the building in December 2022 when they discovered a garden hose running up into the building through a hole in the wall.  In March, they obtained a warrant to inspect the property, and in April, the Fresno County Department of Public Health ordered an inspection of the facility.

Illegal bio lab, via Google Maps

James Bond apparently was not involved in raiding the lab.

“It was pretty clear right off the bat that something was going on we didn’t have a business license for,” Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba said. “They didn’t have any city approvals; that building was supposed to be vacant.”

Zieba said the officers left the property because they did not have a warrant. The suspicious garden hose coupled with numerous building code violations led officers to declare the site unsafe. The city posted “Unsafe to Occupy” signs around the property and ordered individuals on site to leave. They then called the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH).

That phone call launched an investigation that would eventually involve the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FBI, the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the State Department of Health, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and FCDPH, and would lead to the discovery of a lab that had been operating illegally in the city since October 2022. For FCDPH Director David Luchini and FCDPH Assistant Director Joe Prado, the amount of biological materials and chemicals – over 800 – found at the lab was a first.


This all sounds totally innocent. A shady company with very little backstory takes over an abandoned building, and stocks it with all sorts of medical equipment and biological materials, genetically engineered mice, and a bunch of documentation in Chinese. Deadly viruses just happened to be stored in freezers.

And all this was discovered in March, and it was a local newspaper that started reporting on this in… late July when court papers were filed.

NBC News picked up the story, although as of yet nobody in the media has hit the lights and sirens as one might expect. After all, the world has been upended by a pandemic that was likely released from a bio lab in China after gain-of-function research, and now a secret bio lab is found in Fresno, California.

Seems odd enough to garner attention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the substances and detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents, including coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis and herpes, according to a Health and Human Services letter dated June 6.

An investigation found the tenant was Prestige BioTech, a company registered in Nevada and unlicensed for business in California. City officials spoke with Xiuquin Yao, who was identified as the company president, through emails included in the court documents.

Yao told officials that Prestige BioTech moved assets belonging to a defunct company, Universal Meditech Inc., to the Reedley warehouse from Fresno after UMI went under. Prestige Biotech was a creditor to UMI and identified as its successor, according to court documents.

Officials were unable to get any California-based address for either company except for the previous Fresno location from which UMI had been evicted.

“The other addresses provided for identified authorized agents were either empty offices or addresses in China that could not be verified,” court documents said.


China. China. China.

It always comes back to China.

I anxiously await some CDC and NIAID officials’ explanations about how all this was quite innocent and that the lab actually developed immaculately, with no human involvement. A Pangolin or Raccoon Dog set it up and ran the lab, and the fact that there were shady Chinese connections was a complete coincidence.

Any other speculation is just wild conspiracy-mongering and must be censored immediately. FBI officials are deployed to all social media companies to ensure that all memes and speculation about what was going on be ruthlessly suppressed.

Who wants to bet that this gets memory-holed as quickly as possible?

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos