“Mysterious California Biolab Raises Concerns Amid Emerging Connections to China”

A California medical supply company is facing scrutiny due to suspected connections with China and the discovery of an underground biolab in Reedley, California. The Universal Meditech Inc. laboratory, as reported by Fox News, was found to house various infectious agents, causing local officials to express concerns and leading to investigations by multiple government agencies.

Court records indicate that city officials conducted an inspection on March 3 at 850 I St. for building code violations and discovered the storage of various chemicals.

During an inspection conducted on March 16 by county public health officials, it was reportedly uncovered that medical devices, including COVID and pregnancy tests, were suspected to have been developed on the premises.

“Certain rooms of the warehouse were found to contain several vessels of liquid and various apparatus,” court documents said.

“Fresno County Public Health staff also observed blood, tissue and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material.”

Last year, the biolab was found in a formerly unused warehouse in Reedley, as reported by Fox. Investigators identified the tenant of the building as Prestige Biotech, a Nevada-based company not authorized to operate in California, according to NBC News.

The NBC report mentioned that city officials engaged in email communication with Prestige Biotech’s president, Xiuquin Yao. Allegedly, Yao informed officials that Prestige Biotech relocated assets from the now-defunct Universal Meditech Inc. to the Reedley warehouse after UMI’s closure in Fresno.

Court documents indicated that Prestige Biotech was recognized as the successor to UMI and a creditor of the company.

Furthermore, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation disclosed the presence of 20 various infectious agents within the facility. These agents included tuberculosis, dengue, HIV, COVID-19, and malaria, as reported.

Additionally, the CDC drew attention to unsanitary conditions in the laboratory, such as aged equipment, inadequate storage, and the discovery of deceased mice on the premises, as highlighted in the Fox report.

“We don’t have all the answers of what was happening in this lab,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) commented. “This is very disturbing.”

In March, during an inspection by local code enforcement officers, UMI personnel stated that they were manufacturing COVID-19 and pregnancy tests.

The reported presence of potentially hazardous agents in the laboratory raised inquiries that neither the Fresno County Department of Health nor other authorities could address.

Furthermore, the CDC mentioned a lack of cooperation from both UMI and its successor, Prestige Biotech, as outlined in the report.

“Prestige Biotech or various owners of the materials present in the warehouse have yet to cooperate with document requests from multiple partner agencies fully,” the CDC stated.

Deeper inquiries into UMI’s activities in Fresno unveiled accusations of the company breaching federal safety regulations, providing misleading information to clients regarding their COVID-19 test kits, and avoiding legal obligations. Jeff Johnston, the CEO of CovidScan based in Louisiana, shared his encounters with UMI, characterizing the company’s pandemic-era operations as deceptive. He also harbored suspicions regarding the true source of the test kits, suspecting they might have been manufactured in China.

According to the Fox News report, shipping records obtained from ImportGenius indicated that UMI/Prestige had received a minimum of 16 shipments from China in the recent past.

The shipments, which ultimately arrived in Fresno, contained items such as pregnancy tests and cleaning agents.