Back in July of 2019, a prominent Army lab that deals in deadly germs and toxins recieves a visit from CDC. They are rapidly shut down for potential leaking issues.
In July of 2019, CDC sent a cease and desist order to Fort Detrick after the lab failed to pass a saftey inspection. The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures.
The suspension was due to multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories.
The safety concerns at the prominent military germ lab have led the government to shut down research involving dangerous microbes like the Ebola virus.
“Research is currently on hold,” the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md, said in a statement on August 2nd, 2019.
The shutdown is likely to last months, Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman, said in an interview.
After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its registration with the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees disease-causing material use and possession, was suspended. That suspension effectively halted all biological select agents and toxin research at USAMRIID.
Questions & Answers
In the statement, the CDC cited “national security reasons” as the rationale for not releasing information about its decision against the Army lab that researches and contains deadly germs in its possession.
The institute is a biodefense center that studies germs and toxins that could be used to threaten the military or public health. The suspended research involves certain toxins, along with germs called 'select agents', which the government has determined have “the potential to pose a severe threat to public".
There are 67 select agents and toxins; examples include the organisms that cause Ebola, smallpox, anthrax, influenza and plagues.
"The Federal Select Agent Program does not comment on whether a program such as USAMRIID is registered and cannot comment on action taken to enforce regulations, Kathryn Harben, a spokeswoman for the CDC, wrote in an email." said the Frederick News-Post, the first one to report the shutdown.
The problem dates back to May 2018, when storms flooded and ruined an old steam sterilization plant that the institute had been using to treat wastewater from its labs.