Chinese Biologist Carrying Suspected SARS and MERS Samples Attempted to Enter the US Through Detroit Metro Airport

by Jason Hopkins


Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials prevented a Chinese national from sneaking undeclared biological materials into the United States in late 2018, roughly one year before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

An unnamed Chinese biologist carrying suspected vials of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport in November 2018, according to an FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.

The individual arrived at the airport carrying vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage, the report stated. When questioned by authorities, he claimed that a colleague in China requested the vials be delivered to a researcher at a U.S. institute.

However, upon further inspection by CBP, officials made a startling discovery.

“Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” read a portion of the FBI’s unclassified report obtained by Yahoo News.

The report was made by the Chemical and Biological Intelligence Unit of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD). While it does not provide the identity of the Chinese biologist, or the intended recipient of the dangerous vials he was carrying, the report did conclude that the incident exposed a security risk for Americans.

“The Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate assesses foreign scientific researchers who transport undeclared and undocumented biological materials into the United States in their personal carry-on and/or checked luggage almost certainly present a US biosecurity risk,” the report stated.

It continued: “The WMDD makes this assessment with high confidence based on liaison reporting with direct access.”

The Chinese scientists intercepted at the Detroit Metro Airport was not isolated case. The FBI report, which addressed security risks of foreign researchers in the United States, cited two other incidents when Chinese nationals attempted to enter the U.S. with undeclared flu samples and suspected E. coli.

The FBI report is surfacing as the Chinese government endures criticism for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, where the first reported case came out the inner city of Wuhan.

The Chinese Communist Party initially attempted to silence whistleblowers who warned of the fledging crisis, and only after the virus spread exponentially did government authorities acknowledge the severity of the situation. The Chinese government has since attempted to hide the actual number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in its country, and government officials have tried spreading misinformation about the virus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 40,000 individuals around the world have died due to coronavirus-related illnesses.

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Jason Hopkins is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Detroit Metropolitan Airport” by qwesy qwesy. CC BY 3.0.












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4 Thoughts to “Chinese Biologist Carrying Suspected SARS and MERS Samples Attempted to Enter the US Through Detroit Metro Airport”

  1. Kathy Andrews

    How do we know that something like this didn’t happen again? It does strike me as odd that the Metro Detroit area was hit so hard at the onset of this outbreak……..

    1. Charles Nemitz

      Its been going on for years.

  2. Dal ANDREW

    Objective data is accumulating that supports allegations that the ChiComs are guilty of war crimes, even during a period naively considered to be one of peaceful coexistence.

  3. Caroline Adams

    What was the action taken against the “carriers” of these virus samples? Are they being held in prison? I find it very interesting that the Wuhan outbreak was confined to a relatively small area given the carelessness of China’s government and lack of concern for its citizens. It seems orchestrated and controlled as a trial and contained experiment. Also, a warning and alarming of the world as a whole.