The lab is there because of politics and location. The fact that Galveston is a barrier island allows for easy cut-off from the mainland in the event of the release of a deadly biological agent. All that needs to be done is stop the ferries running to Bolivar, close I-45 at the causeway bridge and and the train tracks, and to the west, close San Luis Pass. The only other way off the island is to swim the Gulf. Anybody on the island at the time of such a release will be quarantined until the risk is cleared.
They did have problems with lab security when I was there. I worked in an area where my team and I would need to go into the lab on a regular basis. They also have a large foreign student population which is worrisome. The folks who work on campus found out about this about the same time as the general public did. The folks running the National Lab of course knew because of the inspection.
The stories they are putting out there are ridiculous. Galveston is a port city. If they have Venezuelan ships in in port, they most likely will have Venezuelan rats. Also, what mechanism keeps other rats exposed to the virus from being infected? How can they be sure? The plague was thought at one time to be confined to rats and not transmittable to other species. This whole thing has cover-up written all over it, especially the story that the vial could have stuck to someone's glove and been accidentally disposed of. There will be more coming out of this.
Thanks for posting. I know the exits off the island you are talking about. My husband was a Vice-Pres. of American National Insurance, worked for them 30 years. Yes, that Am. Natl. building is the tall one in Galveston. I was in and around Galveston many years. For a number of months I worked for a doctor at UTMB doing research for a psychological test that was being developed for children with ADD.
I didn't know the building you are talking about would withstand a 5 hurricane. I did know there was flooding in those UTMB buildings from Ike. Perhaps the bldg. you are talking about was somehow built to prevent its flooding.
I was thinking the bldg. could get damaged and have those deadly mixtures in them from a hurricane so it was bad to have them in Galveston. I see where you are coming from to have a strong building and put the deadly stuff on that island so the island could be quarantined.
The article said UTMB people think the vial was thrown away, but you are doubting that. Since you worked there, you should know how possible that is and you don't think it was thrown away. Add to that Galveston is a port city with ships in and out. Bring bad guys in and they get off the ship and they are here.
Well, heck, I was going to stop thinking about that missing vial but, due to you, I can't. I wonder if we would be notified if they did find out it was stolen. I would bet the govn. wouldn't tell us.