In December 2022, Larimer County Planning Commission approved a new “bat lab” or bat vivarium at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado after giving one day notice to the public for opposition. In October 2021, NIH recently granted $6.7 million in funding for this facility, but this is negligible compared to the $288 million in NIH funding to CSU since 2014.
This article will address the prior NIH bioweapons projects at CSU, the zealousness for profitable pandemic projects in Fort Collins, the grassroots opposition to gain-of-function research at CSU, the stonewalling of public stakeholder feedback, the need for public backlash in Colorado, and most importantly, the evidence that CSU labs are an extension of the CDC working in partnership with the DOD without accountability or transparency.
Prior Bioweapons Projects and Leaks at CSU
Michael Nevradakis with Children’s Health Defense has written a comprehensive 11-page overview of the biological research at CSU. In “Plan to Build NIH-Funded Bat Lab Research Lab in Colorado Sparks Fears of Lab Leak,” Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., a bioweapons expert shared his concerns with the CSU facility:
“It is well known that Colorado State University has a long and ongoing history of specialization in weaponizing insects with biowarfare agents for delivery to human beings. This new lab will magnitudinally increase CSU’s offensive biowarfare capabilities, in gross violation of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and my Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that provides for life in prison.”
A biological disaster at CSU occurred at the Prion Research Center, with prion proteins being the causative mechanism in incurable neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. CSU conducted long-term research on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), similar to scrapie in sheep, mad cow in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. CSU’s reported “breakthrough” research in 2019 replaced the gene that encodes the prion protein in mice with genetic code from deer. The collateral damage of this research is decades of leaking CWD in wildlife, which is 100% fatal to deer and elk. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, “By 2018, CWD rates of infection were estimated to occur in about one-third of Colorado’s elk population and about half of the state’s deer population.” Governmental sources claim the origin of CWD in deer is unknown, while hundreds of non-governmental sources trace CWD to the CSU lab where deer shared pens with sheep from a scrapie project in 1967. In 2021, Issues in Information Systems journal reported that Fort Collins was a primary catalyst in the widespread distribution of the disease:
“Text mining of the internet for the first 40 years of the disease produced evidence supporting a common assertion in the press that all of the early cases can be traced back to Fort Collins. For 1967 into 1998, six clusters were identified that could all be traced back to Fort Collins. Limited information from game farms made tracking difficult for 1998 to 2007 with 10 more clusters traced back to areas linked to Fort Collins or with trace backs to Fort Collins explainable based on the evidence.”
Regarding human risks from lab leaks, The Coloradoan reported “Records reveal ‘biological hazards’ at Fort Collins CDC” in 2017:
“The Fort Collins office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was home to at least three lab mishaps since 2013 that risked exposing the public to dangerous pathogens, a USA TODAY investigation has found. …
In documents describing some of the Fort Collins mishaps and others, the CDC blacked out key information including the types of viruses and bacteria involved in the mishaps and often the entire descriptions of what happened.
The agency cited a 2002 bioterrorism law to justify its redactions. The law allows the agency to withhold from the public certain records filed with regulators or information containing specific ‘safeguard and security measures.’
Two of the Fort Collins incidents involved ‘select agents,’ pathogens included on a federal list of potential bioterror pathogens. The list includes pathogens such as those that cause anthrax, Ebola, plague or certain avian or reconstructed flu virus strains.”
Fort Collins Is an Eager City for Pandemic Pseudoscience, Experimental Drugs, and Vaccine Passports
Fort Collins was the most zealous city in Colorado during COVID-19 for mitigation strategies: developing new therapeutics, vaccine trials, wastewater testing, mask studies, and a proposed vaccine-verified facility program. Fort Collins was listed as one of the 10 best cities in the world for coronavirus contributions. CSU had over 100 investigators working on more than 25 projects related to COVID-19, including vaccines and therapeutics. But were these projects more profitable than productive?
CSU also had a vocal professor with an engineering background in the area of air pollution (not an infectious disease doctor) promoting the use of mask wearing to prevent coronavirus. John Volckens, Ph.D. has conducted prior research on children in Fort Collins wearing air quality monitoring devices, so he clearly views people as appropriate test subjects for environmental devices. Volckens made the following non-evidence based statements at a viral transmission workshop: “Individual behaviors like wearing masks are one factor in determining a person’s environmental risk” and “Behavior is a social science that needs to be woven into our research as we focus on prevention.” Is it likely that Volckens’ long-time National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grantee and planning committee member status prompted him to make medical device wearing recommendations?
Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce promoted UC Health’s AstraZeneca vaccine clinical trial of 1500 subjects to line up like cattle at the Ranch in Loveland for an experimental drug.
The Larimer County Board of Health was forced to “pause” the Vaccine-Verified Facility program due to overwhelming public backlash about this threat to medical privacy and Constitutional rights regarding commerce and movement.
In September 2020, CDC launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) and funded two Centers of Excellence in Houston and Colorado, to serve as leaders in wastewater surveillance implementation and coordination. Larimer County accepted grant awards to report data to this CDC program. CSU studied COVID-19 viral levels in wastewater coming from businesses and places of residence, in coordination with CDPHE and LCDHE. The CDC plans to track other emerging health threats and infectious disease threats in wastewater listed as antibiotic resistance and foodborne diseases, which are not communicable diseases. Allegedly this Colorado surveillance program can identify RNA from a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater from a specific residence, however the program paradoxically claims it cannot detect RNA from a person vaccinated by Pfizer of Moderna in wastewater. The value in the wastewater surveillance program as an “early warning system” is yet to be demonstrated.
Is this over-zealous pandemic response due to the vast amounts of money allocated for these projects or the influence of the CDC office in Fort Collins?
The CSU Lab Is an Extension of the CDC Working in Partnership with the DOD
Operation Warp Speed was a Department of Defense campaign “Charged with developing and delivering a vaccine to 300 million Americans, Operation Warp Speed paired military planners with experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work the details of a monumental plan.” Most people know that DOD partnered with the CDC for COVID-19. With the current widespread criticism of the “woke” military and the demonstrated incompetence at the CDC during the pandemic, Colorado should be concerned with the evidence that, in military terms, this new CSU facility is a forward operating base (FOB) for the main operating base at the CDC. The CDC calls this an Emergency Operating Center and Larimer County opened its EOC in August of 2021. The CDC Foundation also lists CSU as a partner, and the Gates Foundation funded over $1 million in research at CSU for Tuberculous in 2021.
The public will not see tactical military vehicles deployed at the DOD operation at CSU’s lab. Instead, General Perna in Operation Warp Speed utilized civilian companies to manage the logistics of a military campaign:
“It is only through the foundation established by the ‘incredible experts’ of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the capability and capacity of commercial industry — including Pfizer, McKesson [drug distribution services], FedEx, UPS, Walgreens, CVS and … most importantly, the governors’ public health officers and health-care communities — that this plan will be successful,” Perna said. “Because of the sheer energy and the whole-of-America approach, I am absolutely 100% confident that we are going to distribute safely this precious commodity … [which is] needed to defeat the enemy COVID.”
When General Perna praised the public health “officers” (with officers being high-ranking people in the military), he referred to yes-men and yes-women who sit in appointed positions on research boards and public health boards to stonewall the public’s opposition. Fort Collins has so many examples of these public health officials with conflicts of interests that it will require a follow-up article. However in one example, CSU benefitted from funding for millions of dollars for biopharma projects over ten years under the leadership of Linda Birnbaum who retired as Director of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in 2019. Her thesis research focused on enrichment of RNA genes. Her son, Dr. Bernard Birnbaum was appointed by Larimer County Commissioners to the Board of Health in 2016 and is currently serving his second five-year term. Bernard Birnbaum violated the board bylaws to delay the vote on officers, then requested a second term as President of the Board of Health, and the board subsequently amended the bylaws months later to accommodate. These public health boards need to be challenged on every policy and procedural approval. When citizens testify to these public health “officers,” their valid objections are rebuffed for impeding millions of dollars of funding attached to bioresearch and public health projects. These “officers” are not required to provide evidence in support of public health policy, nor acknowledge evidence which shows their public policy is harmful to mental health or the economy.
“Plan to Build NIH-Funded Bat Lab Research Lab in Colorado Sparks Fears of Lab Leak” details emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that CSU joined a collaboration in 2017 of DOD, CDC, NIH, with EcoHealth Alliance. EcoHealth Alliance has previously collaborated with Wuhan Institute of Virology in gain-of-function research with cornonaviruses and aims to develop genetically engineered self-spreading vaccines. EcoHealth Alliance also has sustainability goals to “balance and optimize” (or surveil and control) populations of people and animals. Emails from 2020 confirm communications between CSU Professor Tony Schounz, Ph.D. and Jonathan Epstein, Vice President at EcoHealth Alliance, about importing infected bats and rats. Emails from 2018 confirm communication between Schountz with scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Schountz proposed a collaboration on projects involving bat-borne viruses and arboviruses (viruses spread by mosquitos, ticks, fleas). CSU also has a partnership with Zoetis, which was previously under the name Pfizer Animal Health until 2013.
Act Now the Need for Citizen Stakeholder Input and Public Backlash
CSU’s new facility will expand its capabilities to study viruses with high mortality in humans: Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Nipah virus and Hendra virus.” Pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in developing mRNA vaccines for these viruses. These are highly pathogenic Biosafety Level 4 agents, yet the new facility is designated for only Biosafety Level 2 agents.
Despite CSU’s current plan that it will not conduct controversial gain-of-function research, a written agreement between CSU and the citizens of Colorado does not exist. CSU’s biosafety director Rebecca Moritz stated in The Rocky Mountain Collegian, “…this will be the only facility like it in the United States.” It begs the question of the unique capabilities planned for this lab.
Christine Bowman leads a newly formed local opposition group called Covid Bat Research Moratorium of Colorado (CBRMC). She reports that US Sen. John Hickenlooper, US Sen. Michael Bennet, and Fort Collins mayor Jeni Arndt have not responded to citizen’s concerns about the CSU lab. CSU has failed to schedule the promised process public engagement process in the past six months to address the public’s safety concerns.
Unprecedented backlash is needed to overcome the intent to shut out the public from the research at this lab: public engagement with county commissioners and board of health in Larimer County, citizen demands for reports about transparency and safety reviews from the governing Institutional Research Board (IRB), CORA requests, student walkouts at CSU, and yard signs and billboards. The biolab opposition will need funding, scientific experts, and lawyers. The opposition must obstruct every step of the construction of the next Wuhan biolab in Colorado.