Yesterday my jaw dropped as I read an article on WSET, which was a repost of a story from WZTV in Nashville titled “Did Pentagon turn ticks into biological weapons? Lawmakers seeking answer.” I’m providing the sources here not only because they deserve the credit, but because I want you to know that this information is coming from credible, legitimate news agencies and not some underground conspiracy theory website.

An amendment has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives calling out the Department of Defense for experimenting with ticks and other insects for possible use as a biological weapon and demanding answers.

New Jersey Representative Chris Smith submitted the bill because his state has reached epidemic levels of tick-borne diseases. Quoting a statement he made on the floor “we know that there were tick farms at Plum Island and Fort Detrick… and other places.” The island is in New York and Fort Detrick is in Maryland and the highest incidents of these diseases spread from these locations from Virginia to Maine.

According to the article, “Smith is also calling for the report to note if any ticks or insects used in an experiment were released outside of labs by accident or on purpose. During a debate on the House floor, Smith stated Americans have a right to know if current outbreaks of tick-borne diseases have a connection to possible experiments.

In April of this year, I contracted ehrlichiosis, another tick-borne illness on the rise. I nearly died. The onset of ehrlichiosis begins a week or so of a tick bite, and often includes fever, severe headaches, malaise, muscle and joint pain, chills, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Life-threatening cases like mine also include a critically low white blood cell and platelet count which helps fight infection and prevent bleeding.

A lone star tick carrying this bacteria can give one what I got, or alpha-gal syndrome (which makes you allergic to red meat) or transmit the deadly bourbon virus that claim lives sooner than later. Almost all tick-borne diseases have similar symptoms.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m more of a realist when it comes to how things are and U.S. Representative Chris Smith is sound in calling this to light. What we know from what was done makes it possible, if not probable, that human intervention has at least contributed to a problem getting worse.

I’m 58-years-old and I’ve asked my friends and people near my age if they can recall anyone ever being subjected to a tick-borne illness when we were growing up. I’ve yet to have someone recall one.

(Photo By Sgt. Harley Jelis | New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST) and 106th Rescue Wing prepare to identify and classify several hazardous chemical and biological materials during a collective training event at the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Facility, New York, May 2, 2018. The CST inserted by helicopter and was responsible for establishing communications and mission command for the event, which brought together the resources of several fire departments, the 106th Air Rescue Wing, and the Department of Homeland Security to respond to a simulated containment breach at the research facility. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis)