Operation Whitecoat was the name given to a secret operation carried out by the US Army during the period 1954-1973, which included conducting medical experiments on volunteers nicknamed “White Coats”. The volunteers, all conscientious objectors and many members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, consented to the research before participating. The stated purpose of the experiments was to defend troops and civilians against biological weapons, and it was believed that the Soviet Union was engaged in similar activities. It has also been alleged that experiments were conducted on civilians, but to a lesser extent.
Some 2300 “white coats” contributed to the operation by infecting their bodies with pathogens and germs, and then by testing the effectiveness of antibiotics and vaccines against illness. After the â€˜subjectsâ€™ fell ill, they were given immediate medical treatment. These experiments took place at Fort Detrick which is a US Army research center located outside Washington DC. Diseases Whitecoats were exposed to include, in part; Q fever, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Hepatitis A, plague, tularemia(rabbit fever), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.