This article historicizes viral transmissions through the global supply chain of blood plasma between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since the 1941 initiation of plasma donation to serve US armed forces, privately exported US blood products have contributed significantly to a globalized industry, valuing $21 billion in sales by 2017. Although maintaining a blood surplus has been crucial for treating illnesses and traumatic injuries, blood banking has been a source for massive viral transmissions, including HIV and hepatitis C. Examining the news, activism, and state responses to blood-borne outbreaks across the United States and PRC, this essay outlines a constellation of viral infections derived from plasma coerced from US prisoners and PRC rural villagers. Viruses archive the structural violences of the global pharmaceutical and blood biotechnology industries. They point to the cyclical relations between persistent class-based racial and ethnic disparities, technoscientific experimentation, and viral epidemics across polities.

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