House Republicans Prod CDC about Recent Anthrax Scare

Global Security Newswire Staff
July 11, 2014, 10:13 a.m.

Some House Re­pub­lic­ans are de­mand­ing an­swers about an an­thrax scare at a gov­ern­ment lab last month, re­quest­ing years worth of data, Re­u­ters re­ports.

In let­ters to Thomas Frieden, the head of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, GOP law­makers on Wed­nes­day asked for in­form­a­tion about in­cid­ents in which work­ers were ex­posed to “se­lect agents and/or tox­ins” at the CDC since Oc­to­ber 2007. The law­makers are also seek­ing the res­ults of any lab in­spec­tions and audits re­lated to po­ten­tial weak­nesses in bi­o­se­c­ur­ity pro­to­cols since that time, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

Let­ters were sent by seni­or Re­pub­lic­ans on the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, which is plan­ning a hear­ing next week in or­der to re­ceive testi­mony from Frieden. A CDC spokes­man said the agency would re­spond to the in­form­a­tion re­quest “as quickly and com­pletely as pos­sible.”

Since news broke in June that dozens of work­ers at a gov­ern­ment lab might have been ex­posed to an­thrax be­cause in­tern­al safety pro­to­cols were not fol­lowed, of­fi­cials have sought to calm ini­tial fears, say­ing more re­cently that no one may have been ex­posed to the deadly bac­teria after all.