U.S. House panel sets witness list for CDC anthrax hearing

WASHINGTON Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:09pm EDT

The Centers for Disease Control sign is seen at its main facility in Atlanta, Georgia June 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Tami Chappell

The Centers for Disease Control sign is seen at its main facility in Atlanta, Georgia June 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Tami Chappell

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. congressional committee said on Sunday that it will hear from half a dozen witnesses this week about dangerous lapses at federal health facilities, including one that led to the potential exposure of 84 people to live anthrax.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is among several government witnesses scheduled to testify at a Wednesday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which released its witness list online.

Accompanying Frieden will be Joseph Henderson, deputy director of the CDC's Office of Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The panel will also hear from Jere Dick, associate deputy administrator or the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Nancy Kingsbury, a managing director of the watchdog U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Two non-government experts - Behavioral-based Improvement Solutions LLC President Sean Kaufman and Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright - will also appear, the panel said.

The CDC has blamed multiple failures by scientists, and a lack of agency-wide safety policies, for the potential exposure of lab workers to live anthrax at its Atlanta campus last month. Researchers in a high-security lab sent samples of what they thought were inactivated bacteria to colleagues in a lower-security lab, with fewer protections.

The House subcommittee, chaired by Republican Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, is trying to determine what led to that lapse as well as others including the mishandling of dangerous avian bird flu at a CDC influenza lab and the discovery of smallpox vials in an unused room at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

No one has fallen ill as a result of the incidents.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Comments (1)
EconCassandra wrote:
If you like that article, you’re gonna LOVE this one.

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“Swine flu virus which killed half-million modified to ‘incurable’”

A controversial flu researcher has modified the flu virus responsible for the 2009 pandemic to allow it evade the human immune system. His lab’s previous works include recreating the Spanish flu and making a deadly bird flu strain highly transmittable.

The yet-to-be-published research by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team is meant to give scientists better ways to fight influenza outbreaks, but gives chills to some people in academia, who are fearful that accidental release of the strain would result in a global disaster, according to a report by the Independent.

At his level-3 biosafety lab at Wisconsin University’s Institute for Influenza Virus Research in Madison, Kawaoka experimented with the H1N1 flu strain that was responsible for the pandemic in 2009, dubbed the swine flu pandemic by the media. The work resulted in a mutated strain that is able to evade the human antibodies, effectively rendering humans defenseless against the virus.

“He took the 2009 pandemic flu virus and selected out strains that were not neutralized by human antibodies. He repeated this several times until he got a real humdinger of a virus,” a scientist familiar with Kawaoka’s research told the British newspaper.

“He’s basically got a known pandemic strain that is now resistant to vaccination. Everything he did before was dangerous but this is even madder. This is the virus,” he added.

http://rt.com/news/169880-swine-flu-virus-modified/

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Even worse, what this Mad Scientist is doing is perfectly legal.

If someone out there reads this who understands what this means and is able to do somthing about this, please do so.

This is NOT a joke.

Jul 13, 2014 5:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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