The reports of US-funded biological labs in Ukraine led to war of words in the US political establishment once more after Republican lawmaker Mitt Romney said that former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s remarks on biolabs in Ukraine were treasonous and could lead to a loss of lives in Ukraine.
(1/4) I’m not convinced there are biological weapons labs or biological weapons in Ukraine—that’s not what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about the existence of the 25+ biological labs in that warzone. As i said 2 days ago: https://t.co/ahwgcXfrsb— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 15, 2022
Furore in the US political establishment has continued after US’ far-right politicians and the Russian as well as Chinese media. Though it remains unclear if the US-funded labs in Ukraine were developing pathogens for biological weapons or not, the presence of those laboratories near the Russian border has further raised concerns.
Gabbard in a series of tweets on Tuesday clarified that ‘not convinced there are biological weapons labs or biological weapons in Ukraine’. She said that she is concerned regarding the safety of those labs and hopes that the research does not fall into Russian hands.
“I’m not convinced there are biological weapons labs or biological weapons in Ukraine—that’s not what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about the existence of the 25+ biological labs in that warzone,” Gabbard said in a tweet. Gabbard said that while biolabs exist to help develop vaccines and study viruses for medical research, biological weapons labs can be used to create deadly biological weapons.
“The spread of pathogens is what will cause the loss of life, not the prevention of such spread,” Gabbard said in a series of tweets criticising Mitt Romney. She even asked him to step down for calling her treasonous and asked him to prove her wrong.
The sharp exchange also is reminiscent of a previous interaction between Republican lawmaker Marco Rubio and US state department official Victoria Nuland. Journalist Glenn Greenwald on his substack page pointed out that Nuland’s answers indicate US-involvement in those labs designed by the Pentagon.
“Ukraine has biological research facilities.We are now in fact quite concerned that Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control. We are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” Nuland said. Greenwald said that it remains hard to prove if such labs exist or not and what research activities were undertaken but Nuland’s concerns merits asking of questions regarding ‘advanced biological weapons or dual-use “research” that has the potential to be weaponized’.