Skip to comments.CDC says more lab workers may have been exposed to anthrax
Posted on 06/20/2014 7:22:31 PM PDT by logi_cal869
U.S. authorities increased to 84 people their count of government workers potentially exposed to live anthrax at three laboratories in Atlanta as they investigated a breach in safety procedures for handling the deadly pathogen.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
I recommend reading the linked article. I'd have to post the whole thing to give the story context...ineptitude doesn't quite merit a good word.
Don't worry: Have faith...they'll protect us. /s
Let’s spin the liberal wheel o’ excuses and see where it lands.
Is it a Republican witch hunt? A YouTube video made by a “shadowy character”? Or maybe evil conservative budget cuts that caused this.
They could always blame a hard drive crash.
The son of a friend always wanted to work at the CDC in Atlanta. About 5 years ago after graduating from college, he landed his dream job and moved to Atlanta.
Six or seven months later I saw him in his parent’s yard cutting the grass. I asked him why he was back. His answer, “It was too dangerous; there’s no room for even the smallest mistake; and, if you do make that smallest of mistakes, then you die.”
I wonder how many have ever died because they worked at the CDC?
Since they were founded in 1946, I should ask how many in the last 20 years or so.
Their ‘mistake’ was eerily reminiscent of a recent ‘mistake’ by DOE at LANL recently (recall the DUMB decision to permit a switch to non-inert materials to stabilize the ‘soup’ in the nuclear waste drums...resulting in WIPP being contaminated/shut down).
Had DOE followed even most basic procedure, it never would have happened.
In this case, a ‘new’ procedure for inactivating the Anthrax OBVIOUSLY was never tested, or this would never have happened...
“Three laboratories” affected; imagine if it were a virulent sample with an incubation period...this event spanned a week before the alarm was raised.
Weren’t there several varieties of anthrax, the weaponized kind and a low-infectivity kind?
When I saw this I remembered reading yesterday an ad in Atlanta’s Craigslist for Crisis Actors for the 27-29 of June. I believe it has since been take down. Craigslist in Houston had a similar ad for July 4-6.
Just thought the timing was odd.
Affirmative action in a Level IV lab has consequences. CDC has been hiring according to minority status instead of qualifications.
And then if something bad happens to the people there, won’t they be blasted for endangering black people? No fair, this Calvinball!
Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.
The purpose of the Bring Out Your Dead ping list (formerly the Ebola ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.
So far the false positive rate is 100%.
At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the Bring Out Your Dead threads will miss the beginning entirely.
*sigh* Such is life, and death...
Not relevant. Linked article has the details.
Can FedGov do anything right?
“Werent there several varieties of anthrax, the weaponized kind and a low-infectivity kind?”
Yes, the Sterne strain is most commonly used non-infectious derivative of the Ames strain and can be used in BSL2 labs. There are also many others that are available so I dont understand why they feel the need to develop a new one. Sterne is widely used to develop anthrax detection systems because it is so antigenically similar to Ames that the same antibodies work for both.
“Affirmative action in a Level IV lab has consequences. CDC has been hiring according to minority status instead of qualifications.”
I made the same point to my wife when we discussed this incident yesterday. CDC used to be like NASA and could get the best scientists available. Also like NASA they went the AA route and now suddenly find their probes cratering the surface of Mars, or in the case of CDC, sending industrial strength Anthrax to people expecting a killed sample.
You're good... very good.
Every time I turn around, the CDC seems to be behaving in the most responsible fashion possible. As another example: In 2012, the firearms report that Obama illegally commanded, foiled his gun control efforts by showing suicides factored into 'gun violence' numbers and had to be removed, and also noted the large number of legitimate, defensive uses of firearms.
And now the CDC, after screwing up, cedes investigative authority. Can you picture the IRS ceding investigative authority? Can you picture the Department of Justice ceding authority?
The CDC is the most honorable Fed Agency out there. The day they stop being that, is the day I roll out of Atlanta.
Probably more than the statistical norm. Don't forget, many CDC personnel are on Detail in their TDY, which is CDC lingo for being stationed on their tour of duty, in a third-world hellhole without even basic sanitation.
I do see a higher number of minorities than in the private sector, but the people I have met who happen to be minorities are some of the brightest people I have ever met. One fellow in particular, he is so damned intelligent I wish I was a fraction of his brainpower. He knows more about computers, development, and networking then I will ever know, and I test at top 1% in all my technical tests.
I don't think the CDC is cutting corners on required skills or intelligence, minority or not... not that I have seen.
I’ve seen that guy.
I have met some freaky wizards who make me scratch my head as to why they don’t fare well.
I’m pretty clever, a skill honed while living with my other 5 competitors for 18 years but, some of these guys are awesome at creating possibilities that haven’t a scintilla of probability for their foundation, as their approach to life and other hoomans...
Hence, they are easy to hunt down...
All due respect, I wish you and JR both would get your hindquarters to Texas.
Brilliant + Homeless = Schizophrenic.
I’ll believe it when I see it. Cynicus, I am.
CDS is an HHS subordinate. I’m not even sure they have the legal authority to cede investigative authority to an outside ‘executive-appointment-headed’ bureaucracy; they may be bound by law to be investigated under HHS’ IG unless criminal findings result in DOJ action.
Frankly, if we weren’t in bizzaro world, I’d prefer the investigation to remain within HHS’s IG and AWAY from any other executive influence.
What happened in that lab should NEVER have happened. We’re talking about the difference between being SURE a nuclear bomb is disarmed and, frankly, incompetence. There is no halfway measure here. However, while whatever happened here is at least a fireable offense on ‘somebody’s’ part, I have zero faith that any enforcement mechanism will change the culture that led to this event.
I don’t share your confidence...at all...particularly after this event as it’s been reported. I have an open mind, but if what’s reported is true, all my statements remain.
I’m sorry, I no longer can agree to disagree. You will simply have to adapt my viewpoint. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter!
Just picked one up who lost everything we bought for him, “All in One Drunken Night”....
I guess you saw post 5, and if you wanted to answer the question, why don’t you post the numbers?
Not. Neither do I think this is a joking matter. Feds turned inward against citizens vs. real threats, fake statistics for propaganda, “do as I say” from all levels of government, without respect for Law or Constitution...
...you show me the investigation that actually occurs and the corrective actions, to include prosecutions and/or firings for CDC’s latest ‘incident’ and I will not only agree, but bow (though not subserviently).
Let's hope he does not join the military.
Thanks for the ping!
You’re Welcome, Alamo-Girl!
I do know that one young lady died in Haiti during the earthquake. I only have anecdotal items like that.
I guess, if you work in a Level 4 lab. But Level 4's exist in private industry, too, and the same danger and repercussions exist in those labs.
In my job, if I make the smallest of mistakes, a website might go down for a day. Lots of different jobs over there.
It's a big problem. But it's not one I see the CDC manifesting. They are one of the few agencies without a SWAT team, and when Obama asked them to fudge gun numbers, they refused. Not bad for a Fed agency.
...you show me the investigation that actually occurs and the corrective actions, to include prosecutions and/or firings for CDCs latest incident and I will not only agree, but bow (though not subserviently).
Not sure prosecutions and/or firings need to occur. Definitely huge dings on the record of whoever was involved. Note also there was no attempt at delaying the release of information, and no attempt to cover it all up ... as so many other agencies are prone to do.
First of all, this quote from the original article:
Agency spokesman Tom Skinner said the internal probe is focusing on why safety protocols were not followed to the letter.I'll come back to that...
From USA Today:
Private government audits obtained last year by USA TODAY cited CDC for failing to ensure that those working with and around potential bioterror agents had received required training. A 2010 report said auditors couldn't verify that 10 of 30 employees sampled had required training. A 2009 report said the CDC labs "did not provide biosafety and security training to 88 of 168 approved individuals" before they were given access to work areas for bioterror agents.5 years since these reports. Maybe these 'are' just oversights.
Another USA Today article on prior incidents at the 'new' Atlanta facility
It is unknown what answer Jackson received to his question. According to Scarborough's April 9 e-mail, CDC safety officials dismissed concerns about the incident saying "it doesn't matter if the dirty BSL 3 lab blows positive into the clean corridor as long as it is not sustained." Scarborough called this a "totally ridiculous response" and wrote that she is "horrified and dismayed at the events surrounding safety and the fact that even though this has been taken clear up the chain of command all the way to Dr. Frieden, no one is willing to admit the mistake or more importantly fix it."Really. The article also quotes the Lab's 'high containment manager as stating 'no building is perfect'.
I don't think I need to quote ad nauseam here...
To sum it up, I think 'perfection' is something THIS ONE government agency out of all the rest should be striving for. Again, without additional quotes, at the 2nd article the CDC exhibits the same federal CYA BS & obfuscation. Well, one more quote:
The CDC is responsible for inspecting its own labs, as part of a federal program where it also oversees labs nationwide that work with germs or toxins that could potentially be used as bioweapons.
Rutgers University biosafety expert Richard Ebright said excerpts of CDC documents provided to him by USA TODAY "raise serious concerns. There appear to be significant irregularities." The problems seem to be the type that CDC's inspectors "would flag as major violations in inspections of non-CDC facilities," Ebright said.
According to the minutes, CDC safety manager William Howard said: "Bottom line is we can't continue to operate the building the way it is if (a bioterror lab inspector) finds out air is moving this direction they will shut this place down."Yet they did 'continue to operate the building' and failed to demonstrate the problems were 100% fixed, using duct tape as a 'workaround'. Nice.
In all the cases of 'incidents' I could find regarding the CDC, either the public or 'visitors' were exposed/potentially exposed. They could not delay action. It is the 'incidents' that didn't involve the public that concern me, in addition to the fact "the CDC is responsible for inspecting itself". Safety protocols not enforced result in lapses. No reactionary enforcement results in lax standards despite strictly-written procedures. Worse, they result in repeated lapses and lousy lab designs/further-relaxing standards.
If I lived in Atlanta, or any other town near a CDC facility, I'd be concerned. I don't, yet am 'very' concerned.
One last quote regarding a comment I made in another paragraph:
The report noted: "Also, on some doors the excessive negative pressure prevented the release of the electronic security latch as commanded by the card reader; it was necessary to push/pull the door inward/outward before turning the handle and opening the door." CDC assumed responsibility for reopening the lab area with the "known code violation" and was going to begin work to address it, the contractor's report said. The CDC wouldn't say whether the problem has been fixed.That is NOT being forthcoming.
Can anyone recall when Government investigating itself resulted in anything positive? I'm struggling here. The 'culture' created by the Puppet attacking the IG structure within the Federal Government, as just one facet, has led directly to this. These incidents are 'red flags'. I want to agree with you, but I see an infection spreading across all levels. As stated prior, the CDC is at least 'one' department that HAS to be perfect. Though this 'infection' began years before the Puppet, his policies have only made it worse...
Sorry for the delay...
I’m not in this particular field of engineering, but know quite a few Health Facilities Maintenance engineers. Based on conversations with those folks, if one of the hospitals had an Operating Theater ventilation fault within ten percent of the magnitude of the incidents you’ve related, there would be blood running ankle deep down the hallway to the Engineering offices and people would be getting rapid escorts out of the building if not directly to jail.
...”huge dings on the record”???????
Do these people think they’re playing some kind of game???
Right. Again, perhaps one Federal agency we really should expect perfection from. Much akin to localized debates about Citizens Review Boards relative to local police, we should really be talking about removing the government's 'right' to investigate itself. Unfortunately now that includes Justice.
There is no easy answer, but the questions should keep on coming...