Unexplainable Carelessness at U.S. Government Labs, Part 2

posted by Maleekie Ambularie @ 0:53 AM
July 20, 2014

CDC-problems        Lax safety procedures at laboratories ran by the federal government have reached beyond points of explainable human error. CDC Director, Tom Frieden, seems dumbfounded by multiplying misdeeds among his personnel. Congressmen even questioned accuracies of Frieden’s testimony before them this week.

In ‘Poor Oversight Catches Up with High-Security Infectious Agent and Disease Labs,’ Dina Fine Maron of ‘Scientific American’ records reaction to Frieden’s testimony: “. . . he said that his agency wants to reduce the number of laboratories that work with dangerous agents, the number of people who have access to those labs and the number of dangerous pathogens studied.”

To which Rep. Henry Waxman (D–Calif.) responded: “In fact, there is no record of how many high-level BSL-designated labs even exist.” Waxman “was referring to BSL-3 and 4 levels, which deal with biological substances that can cause serious or fatal illness when inhaled.”

Maron explains: “Around the country the number of BSL-3 labs has increased rapidly in the past decade to nearly 1,500 in the U.S., according to 2013 estimates from the Government Accountability Office. CDC, itself, says it has 21 BSL-3 labs. (The agency also has one BSL-4 laboratory.) Other such facilities are located at university, state, local and private labs.”

Obviously, Waxman is right: There is no system of national control over these labs.  Nancy Kingsbury, Director of Applied Research at the Government Accountability Office, told Congress at the hearing: “There is a continued lack of national standards for designing, constructing, commissioning and overseeing these labs. One entity should be charged with coming up with such a plan.”

Kara Manke of National Public Radio summarized the problem, while Frieden who only talked about how the nation’s vast system of ‘independent’ labs is suppose to work, never covering how it does in fact work:  “It all started in mid-June, when the CDC [learned] that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax. Since then, a number of other security risks in and via national laboratories have come to light:

“Ordinary flu virus was unknowingly contaminated with the deadly virus (sent from a CDC lab); vials of smallpox CDC-flu-virusvirus forgotten in a National Institutes of Health storage room; and just this week the FDA [admitted] that forgotten vials of other potential bioterrorism agents were discovered in the same storage room where the smallpox samples turned up.

“These lapses, occurring in some of the nation’s top government-run facilities, left many to wonder whether the CDC, which is charged with protecting the public from natural and man-made health threats, is capable of shielding Americans from the risks posed by its own research.”

Some states, such as Maryland, have designed their own systems for safety in such dangerous labs. Others, such as New York, are now “considering instituting a voluntary moratorium of its own, after last week’s news,” says Maron.

Surely, anyone can see that this nation has not been kept safe by man’s watch care, but by God’s ntervention. City after city, state after state is still kept safe by God’s Loving Grace.  As wholesale Christian Bibles premise:  “It is of The LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not (Lamentations 3: 22).” So thank Him, and pray for scientists to work on safety.

Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.