The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating the unintended shipments of live anthrax by the Department of Defense (DoD) to labs in several states, reported CBS News.
Dugway Proving Ground, a U.S. Army facility near Salt Lake City, Utah, mistakenly shipped live samples of the deadly bio-weapon anthrax. The batch was irradiated, declared dead and shipped to government and commercial labs in nine other states: Texas, Delaware, Maryland, California, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, and Virginia.
The investigation started when a private commercial lab in Maryland requested a technical consultation while working with the DoD to “develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats.” The Maryland lab requested inactive cultures of anthrax. However, when the lab noticed that the batch was live, it notified the DoD and CDC.
The CDC asserted that there’s no reason to believe that this terrible mistake poses any risk to the public and noted that the proper precautions will be taken.
One sample of live anthrax was sent to a U.S. military base outside of the country, Osan Air Base in South Korea. Defense press operations director Col. Steven Warren said the anthrax sample posed “no known risk to the general public, and no personnel have shown any signs of possible exposure.”
Warren continued and assured that “The sample was destroyed in accordance with appropriate protocols.”
However, 22 military personnel at Osan Air Base are believed to have been exposed during a training exercise. A statement released by base officials said that those suspected of being exposed were “provided with appropriate medical precautionary measures.”
First, DoD officials and Pentagon employees blew, literally, millions of dollars at strip clubs and casinos. Now the DoD mistakenly sent live anthrax to nine labs in the United States and a military base in a foreign country. Someone at the top needs to rein in the operations at the DoD before something really major happens.