CDC expands investigation into military handling of dangerous disease samples

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Does this make you feel safer? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has now expanded its investigation of the Defense Department’s handling of dangerous infectious disease samples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its investigation into possible mishandling and improper shipment by Defense Department laboratories of organisms that cause deadly diseases, including plague and encephalitis, U.S. officials said Thursday. Concerns about the handling of those samples led the Army to announce a moratorium on production, shipping and handling of toxins at nine labs last week. But officials did not acknowledge until Thursday that plague and encephalitis samples were involved.

When asked why the Pentagon didn’t disclose the new concerns about plague and encephalitis last week, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said that officials were trying to be as forthcoming as possible “without alarming the public.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, the Defense Department withheld critical information because it made them look bad and illustrated how dangerous their mishandling of dangeous diseases has been.

Other than that, all is well!

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