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CDC chief promises fixes to lax safety standards at federal labs


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?intcmp=latestnewsFox News:

WASHINGTON – Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called a pattern of recently-discovered safety lapses -- including a mishandling of live anthrax and an incident involving a strain of bird flu at the Atlanta-based health agency -- “deeply troubling” and vowed to fix the issues.


Frieden told a House subcommittee on Wednesday that the incidents “should have never happened” and called the lack of adequate procedures and oversight that allowed them to take place “totally unacceptable.”


The panel also was looking into allegations that the federal health agency tried to cover up its mishandling of dangerous pathogens at a laboratory.


“We have seen, at this point, no evidence of a cover-up, but we do see a need to strengthen the culture of safety that encourages reporting anytime there is a problem or potential problem, so we can assess it and take rapid and prompt action,” Frieden said.


In his nearly two hours of testimony, Frieden promised to fix the various safety issues that have resurfaced in recent weeks.


Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of the oversight committee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, cited several reports that over the years had pointed out lax safety standards at the CDC, including one that referred to recent incidents as “sloppy” and “inexcusable.”


The CDC has been under fire after officials revealed that 84 lab workers had potentially been exposed to live anthrax bacteria. The CDC later disclosed the discovery of vials containing smallpox at a National Institutes of Health facility outside Washington.


``In hindsight, we realize we missed a crucial pattern: a pattern of incidents that reflect the need to improve the culture of safety at CDC,'' Frieden said.



There's absolutely nothing to worry about...unsure.png

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