The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has appointed a director of laboratory safety, temporary halted transfers of biological samples out of two bioterrorism labs and tightened its safety protocols, after discovering that CDC scientists might have been exposed to live anthrax spores in June.
During a Friday press conference, CDC Director Tom Frieden discussed the actions that the agency has taken in the wake of three separate safety incidents at government laboratories, including one that involved cross-contaminiation between an animal flu and “highly pathogenic” H5N1 bird flu.
Asserting that the incidents “raise serious and troubling questions,” Frieden declared: “The culture of laboratory safety needs to improve at some CDC laboratories.”
“Our labs [and] our lab scientists are a national treasure,” Frieden said. “We are essentially the reference laboratory for the world. So when something like this happens here, I’m deeply concerned about it. These events should never happen.”
For more, watch Frieden's press conference: