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B. March 16, 2023 Inspection by Local Officials of the Reedley Biolab

Local officials then obtained an inspection warrant, which they executed on March 16, 2023.[1] Inside the Reedley Biolab, officials “observed blood, tissue and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material,” raising the concern that they contained pathogens.[2] Some of these vials were labeled with the names of pathogens in English or Mandarin. Many were unlabeled. Others were labeled in code. Officials never found the full key that would translate this code, meaning that the nature of these vials’ contents is unknown to this day.

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Figure 2 - Contents of a fridge found in the Reedley Biolab, including sera and chemicals. Source: City of Reedley.

Officials also found laboratory equipment, including “a biological safety cabinet and centrifuge[,]” as well as “cold temperature storage units, which included 2 ultralow temperature freezer units (-80- and -60-degree C) and 29 refrigerators/freezers (-20 degrees C). The Reedley Biolab operators had locked the -80 C ultralow freezer. These ultralow temperature freezers increased local officials’ concerns that UMI was storing infectious agents on site.”[3]

  1. Id.
  2. Id.
  3. Id.