Filed under “questions you never thought to ask” comes this doozy: is Lyme disease the result of the US government experimenting with weaponized ticks?
This ‘possibility’ was brought to the public’s attention when U.S. Representative from New Jersey, Chris Smith, opened an inquiry – now a full-blown investigation – into the matter as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
The report will look into whether the Pentagon experimented with tick0borne Lyme disease as a biological weapon during the Cold War, and if any of the weaponized ticks were let looks on the public “by accident or experiment design.”
Yeah. Like our own government might have purposely let diseased ticks out into our own population?
Let’s all collectively freak out for a minute.
The U.S. government was intensely interested in biological warfare agents during the Cold War (for obvious reasons), which was also the era in which Dr. Willy Burgdorfer discovered Lyme Disease. He is more well known for his work on bacteria and parasites, but he also spent time in bioweapons research at Fort Detrick – specifically working with ticks.
All of this came to (hazy) light with the publication of Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, by Kris Newby, which joins other fringe opinions in the belief that Burgdorfer’s work could be significantly more sinister than the government wants us to realize.
For example? Newby claims there were plans to drop these infected ticks from airplanes into residential areas in order to study the spread of disease through a population.
Further bolstering these ideas is the fact that the origins of Lyme disease are fairly unclear – some evidence has been found that suggests it has been around since long before the Cold War, but it’s far from conclusive.
As for Smith, he’s framing the investigation as a “need to know” moment for the public.
“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 percent of all patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease – Americans have a right to know whether any of this is true.”
So the investigation will be completed, but…you know. The jury is still out on whether the truth will ever really be out there on this one.
Except that it probably wasn’t a government conspiracy.