Are you interested in any of the following diseases and where their research may be being conducted? You should be. In case the following list is too long, here’s a shortened version:
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
Classical Swine Fever (CSF)
African Swine Fever (ASF)
Rift Valley Fever (RVF)
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Virus
The following diseases have currently been defined by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mission requirements for study at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF):
- Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Viral disease of domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animals; acute disease characterized by fever, lameness, and vesicular lesions on the feet, tongue, mouth and teats; FMD is considered to be one of the most contagious, infectious diseases known; cost estimates of an introduction of FMD in the U.S. are more than $37 billion.
- Classical Swine Fever (CSF). Wild and domestic swine are the only known natural reservoir; widespread throughout the world and has the potential to cause devastating epidemics, particularly in countries free of the disease; any outbreak of CSF would have serious consequences for domestic and international trade of swine and swine products; improved countermeasures are needed.
- African Swine Fever (ASF). Infected animals have high mortality rates; effective countermeasures are not available for infected animals; no vaccines are available to prevent infection; no treatment exists for ASF.
- Rift Valley Fever (RVF). Virus affects human beings and cloven-hoofed animals (sheep, goats, cattle, camels, buffalo and deer); suitable countermeasures to respond in the U.S. do not exist; risk for establishment of endemic disease; ranked as a major disease of concern with USDA, DHS, and other stakeholders.
- Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). Caused by a tick-borne virus in the family Bunyaviridae, genus Nairovirus; first described in Crimea in 1944; later recognized in Congo in 1969 causing lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans; disease has since been described in Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union, throughout the Mediterranean, in northwestern China, central Asia, southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent; though humans are the main host affected by this virus, production animals (cattle, sheep, etc) are the main amplifiers; currently no countermeasures exist for humans or animals; disease is of high priority for the DoD and deployed soldiers.
- Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Virus. Similar to St. Louis encephalitis virus; JE virus is amplified in the blood of domestic pigs and wild birds; the virus can infect humans, most domestic animals, birds, bats, snakes and frogs.
- Nipah Virus. Virus was discovered in 1999; causes disease in swine and in humans through contact with infectious animals; mode of transmission between animals and from animals to humans is uncertain (appears to require close contact with infected tissues or body fluids); caused respiratory disease and encephalitis in people in Malaysia and Singapore; no drug therapies have yet been proven to be effective in treating Nipah infection; no countermeasures exist.
As if there weren’t already enough to keep you awake at night, here’s more:
The USDA (DHS has supposedly ‘handed over’ this lovely project after 2019 — more on that light plot twist at the end of this article) are, right now, frantically working on moving the now substantially aged out (at 65+ years old) Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) from an island to the center of the continental United States in Manhattan, Kansas. You’ll find out more about Plum Island and the NBAF below.
The new facility, called the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, had an initial budgeted figure of $1.25 billion dollars. These funds were granted between 2005 — when the initial project scoping appears to have began — until today, as the project is still ongoing and not quite operational yet. Soon, it will be.
In May of 2022, construction was completed, and in December of 2022 (just a few weeks ago) “contractor commissioning” was completed:
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate built the facility to standards that fulfill the mission needs of the USDA. DHS S&T reported construction was completed in May 2022 and contractor commissioning was completed in December 2022. In accordance with a 2019 memorandum of agreement between DHS and USDA, NBAF ownership and operation will transfer to USDA.
via USDA NBAF
When it begins to become operational (supposedly as early as later this year, in 2023) — after so-called “testing” is complete — the facility will be the first of its kind in the United States.
A BSL-4 (the highest ‘bio-containment’ level available) lab capable of studying the most dangerous and infectious diseases — but in a facility large enough to support large livestock. Half a million sq. foot of Wuhan Institute of Virology — right in Kansas.
Why worry at all about ‘Ukrainian biolabs’ when we have such lovely labs springing up, right here at home?
Of course, with a budget of that size, research won’t simply be limited to large livestock — this facility will become the center of infectious disease research nationally.
Possibly even internationally — given that the NBAF is intended to re-home international projects (currently conducted outside the United States) on large livestock. Poor cows.
What are they going to be doing with these poor cows?
Testing the most infectious and deadly diseases on them. Obviously.
Plum Island Animal Disease Center
The PIADC, located here, is an island. That’s what the “I” stands for in Plum “Island” Animal Disease Center.
Why might it have been beneficial to do this kind of research on an island?
For one — if something leaks, it could potentially be isolated more easily and not infect everyone. At least you buy yourself some time that way.
But that ship has long sailed. Perhaps birds migrating to and from the island transmitted infectious ticks to somewhere in Connecticut — perhaps Lyme, Connecticut (?) — spawning yet another epidemic of “unknown origins.”
Who really knows. These facilities are not known for their transparency.
Maybe the intended purpose, all along, was to leak these diseases being “studied.”
After all, it was simply a renaming from “bioweapons research” to “bioweapons defense” that has made the unpalatable suddenly palatable, generally speaking, in terms of the public understanding of what type of research really takes place inside facilities like this.
National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
Situated somewhere between Denver and St. Louis, and south of Omaha Nebraska — the NBAF is right down the block from the United States very own “Wet Market” — a Domino’s Pizza and a Mexican restaurant.
You can’t make this stuff up. Maybe DHS (or USDA 😉) will sell some of the lightly used cows to the Mexi spot.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to stand up the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas. This state-of-the-art facility is a national asset that will help protect the nation’s agriculture, farmers and citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases.
via USDA NBAF
Wonderful — the DHS is/was overseeing this mammoth (pun intended) project. You’ll never guess what specific language and terminology they used to describe the facility…
If you guessed “safe and secure” you win todays prize:
One recently infected (don’t worry about it), but now fully recovered (!!!) adult cow.
Or maybe they will be testing these diseases on bears too. Horrific.
It’s effectively a fully legitimized, taxpayer funded den of iniquity and animal cruelty facility.
Historically, the United States did not have a laboratory facility with maximum biocontainment (BSL-4) space to study high-consequence zoonotic diseases affecting large livestock and U.S. scientists had to rely on other countries’ facilities for that type of research.
NBAF has biosafety level-2 and -3 laboratories and is the first facility in the United States with biosafety level-4, or BSL-4, containment capable of housing large livestock. NBAF’s BSL-4 containment laboratories require the highest level of safety protocols and equipment so scientists can safely study and diagnose a variety of high-consequence animal pathogens.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a good research facility without even more vax research going on.
Maybe they’re going to stick mRNA needles into the poor cattle here too.
NBAF also features a Biologics Development Module (BDM) for the pilot scale development of vaccines and other countermeasures, augmenting laboratory research and accelerating technology transfer to industry partners.
NBAF’s location in Manhattan, Kansas, places it within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, the largest concentration of animal health companies in the world. NBAF is constructed and operated on a secure federally-owned site, adjacent to Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
And a final note on the supposed “disentanglement” of DHS with the USDA — because, as always, there’s an “interagency” twist:
In January 2020, USDA and DHS S&T signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to outline their ongoing strategic interagency partnership at NBAF focused on national security. The MOU establishes an initial framework for scientific collaboration and identifies current areas of opportunity for collaboration which include:
- Threat Risk Assessment and Research Prioritization: To determine which transboundary, emerging animal diseases and zoonotic pathogens present the greatest risk to animal health, human health and national security. Outputs from this work will inform the process for research prioritization at NBAF.
- Research and Collaboration: To support the related USDA and DHS S&T food and agriculture missions including threat characterization and classified research; RDT&E involving biological countermeasures (vaccines, biotherapeutics and diagnostics); subject matter expert collaboration and information sharing; and partnerships.
Just in case the timeline isn’t clear …
In the middle of 2019 — DHS washes its hands of this initiative, allegedly “handing over” responsibility for the facility to USDA. A mere 6 months later, an MOU is signed that outlines the “ongoing strategic interagency partnership” that will be continuing.
Guess we’ll find out soon.
The facility should be up and running later this year.
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