Truth Frequency Radio
Jul 23, 2014

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A house panel is investigating repeated safety lapses at key government laboratories, including an incident in which eighty lab workers were likely exposed to live anthrax bacteria at an Atlanta facility. The group is also investigating the CDC’s responses to the incidents. The committee chairman noted that CDC had in the past offered assurances that it was tightening monitoring of labs’ safety procedures, but that such pledges were not fulfilled.

House Energy and Commerce subcommittee member Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan) is publicizing previous safety pledges from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following the announcement of a 16 June hearing on the lab mishandling of Anthrax.

As the Sun-Sentinel reports, the committee is investigating repeated safety lapses at key government laboratories, including an incident in which eighty lab workers were likely exposed to live anthrax bacteria at an Atlanta facility. The group is also investigating the CDC’s responses to the incidents.

On 17 June, Upton — apparently angered by the results — revealed a 2012 letter from CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden which said that the agency had installed a senior official in charge of lab security and was also seeking the advice of private sector biosecurity officials in the matter.

Upton warned that the language echoed statements made by Frieden recently as well, following the anthrax incident.

“These measures sound very similar to the corrective actions Dr. Frieden outlined last Friday to address the current lab crisis,” said Upton. “Why should we believe this time that things will be different?”

Frieden had testified last Wednesday at an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the oversight and investigations portion of the hearing.

When asked about the senior official who he had referred to in his 2012 letter, he was unable to identify the person.

“I will have to get back to you about that to get you the name and the details of what was done pursuant to that letter,” he said to Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi).

A day later, it was revealed that the current CDC official in the position is Joseph Henderson, who was also present with Frieden at the subcommittee hearing, but had not yet been hired at the time of the 2013 letter. According to CDC spokesman Tom Skinner, he was named to the position in March of 2013, and the role was defined as broader than had been originally stipulated.

Skinner also said that there “may have been a person designated in an acting role” before Henderson was appointed — leading to an ongoing search to pinpoint the individual.

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