Task and Purpose
A Lawmaker Wants to Know If the Pentagon Ever Exposed the American Public to Ticks Infected with Bioweapons
President Richard Nixon announced in 1969 that the United States would unilaterally end its offensive biological weapons program.
If you've ever wondered if the Pentagon has ever exposed the American public to ticks infected with biological weapons, you're not alone.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would require the Defense Department Inspector General's Office to find out if the U.S. military experimented with using ticks and other insects as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975.
If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."
Smith is the founding co-chair of the House Lyme Disease Caucus. In a news release, Smith said he was inspired to write the amendment after reading books and articles about U.S. military experiments meant to use ticks and other insects to infect enemies.