Bredefeld slams CDC for inaction with secret Reedley lab

The councilman and Board of Supervisors candidate also called on more transparency from Fresno County.

Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld teed off on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their inaction with the secret Reedley biologics lab. 

Bredefeld’s comments came during Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting in response to the House China Select Committee’s report on the Reedley lab was revealed. 


The backstory: The committee, joined by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) and Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno), released its report on the Reedley lab on Wednesday, revealing that the FBI and CDC did not initially provide help when contacted by Reedley city officials. 

  • According to the report, the CDC stepped in after being pushed by Costa. 

What they’re saying: Bredefeld, who is running for Fresno County Board of Supervisors in District 2, tied the Congressional report to Fresno County’s messaging about the lab. 

  • The report said the CDC’s refusal to initially test the substances found in the warehouse left local officials unable to assess the danger to the Reedley Community or inform the community about what steps it should take to protect public safety. 
  • “That report clearly contradicts county officials’ statements after the investigation of the lab that said it was found there was no danger to the public, and therefore the county did not need to inform the public that an illegal biological lab run by a Chinese national illegally here in the United States had been operating in Reedley using many dangerous infectious agents that included COVID, Rubella, HIV, Hepatitis A and B, Malaria and Chlamydia,” Bredefeld said. 
  • Bredefeld continued, “The fact is the public had every right to know about this dangerous lab and should’ve been informed. The CDC demonstrated complete incompetence or maleficence, or both, which was typical with COVID.” 
  • Bredefeld thanked Costa for intervening, which led to the investigation into the lab. He also credited McCarthy and Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba. 
  • The CDC issued the following statement in response to the Congressional report: “CDC strongly disputes the report’s conclusions critical of the agency. The report includes numerous inaccuracies, including both the charge that CDC did not respond to local requests for aid and the false implication that CDC had the authority to unilaterally investigate or seize samples from PBI’s Reedley building.  Indeed, CDC has, and continues to be actively engaged, within its regulatory authorities, in the intergovernmental efforts to address issues surrounding the facility.”
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