I admit to being uneducated on the purpose or history of CDC except what I see in media. They are responsible for a lot of rules that labs are to follow and many different aspects of health including watchdog for epidemics and pandemics here and in other countries. So when I heard about this “accidental” problem of shipping, I decided to look through old records. It did not sit well with me that such a major player in the health field who supposedly had one of the top secured organizations for deadly diseases and biomedicine would have an “accident” though on the surface it seemed reasonable that humans are known for mistakes once in awhile. However, it sent alarm bells as I vaguely remembered other such mistakes in the past. In this case, I hate when I am right but given current government, expected no less that total incompetence .
I went back to the year 2000 but I feel it was much deeper and more involved from the little research I did. The Communicable Diseases Center was founded July 1, 1946. In 2006, it celebrated 60 years as an organization. Begun mostly in response to malaria, it expanded to include many more diseases and has housed most of the most deadly diseases known to man for research. There has been controversy associated with its methods, procedures, and human investigations over the years even before 2000, I discovered.
Congress tasked it as lead in health and has provided funds yearly to assist it in carrying out its directives. The amount budgeted for 2000 was $3.1billion and by 2013, CDC was requesting an overall budget of $11.23billion. In 2014, CDC asked for $11.25billion and Affordable Care Act transferred money to CDC as well. The request for 2015 came in slightly lower at $11.1billion. I have no idea how much ACA transferred or if more has been added at this point. In 2000-2002 Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan was director then he took a position at Emory University. Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H. took over until 2009 when Obama’s administration decided not to keep her there. Thomas R. Frieden,MD, MPH replaced her. Gedberding moved to become administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) which is partnered and budgeted with CDC.
Here is a very brief list of what I found. I simply tried to represent only highlights and a trail of problems.
●February 2000 – media carried a report that CDC had misled Congress on Hantavirus funding. After seeking monies for this particular problem, congress released $7.5million to assist in its research. But, CDC was called on the carpet late in the year, after it was discovered most of the funds were spent on unrelated programs. While investigating, the Committee on Government Reform also found that FDC and CDC were in violation of conflict of interest and voting improprieties on drug approvals.
●2003 – concerns over neurodevelopment disorders resulting from components in vaccines were raised. FOIA transcripts of meetings in 2000 called “Scientific Review of Vaccine Safety Data link Information” concerning mercury, aluminum salts and other issues. Yet CDC did an in-house study that repudiated a link in late 2003. This was a major issue for parents and lingers today as we have seen.
●2007 – backup generators failed to keep airflow working during a power outage leaving dangerous conditions concerning labs and biochemicals. In addition, morale was very low. Congress again held hearings.
●2010 – records from a CDC meeting found several issues under discussion including airflow and morale. I found several posts to Google that same year mentioning CDC devices and data program issues as well.
●2010 – problems with the volume of immigrants at that time led to considerations and allegations that CDC ‘s border control agents were understaffed, given barely adequate equipment and limited resources, each agent was considered the only mobile laboratory at their location (no centralized area labs), and limited worker training. Therefore incoming health, disease detection, and isolation were more or less “haphazard” obsevations. Given today’s influx thanks to Obama’s actions, it is really difficult to swallow that our country is at tremendous risk for numerous diseases that affect the health and safety of our citizens, especially those who have health or age factors like infants and elderly.
●2012 – 2013, Maine investigators found a host of problems in their state due to alleged “manipulation” of grant awards. I say alleged because I did not investigate the outcome. Department of Health and Human Resources also came in for its share of blame as it withheld notice for six months. About this time it seems CDC documents were found to have been shredded in 2012 that might have been pertinent.
●2012 – ABC released a story in June about air flow and leakage problems in CDC building 18 which housed anthrax, SARS, and monkeypox.
●2014 – the story broke of H5N1 (highly dangerous bird flu) being “accidentally” sent to another lab in May. It was active and cross contaminated vials of the less worrisome H5N2. Director Frieden supposedly had not been told of this potentially diasterous event for over 30 days. A second story hit where FDA had found six vials created in 1954 of live smallpox virus abandoned in an old lab in direct violation of international treaty. It was an old CDC building that FDA took over in 1972 and was undergoing a lot of cleaning. The final straw was finding live anthrax at a busy CDC lab which had been thought properly handled to insure the virus cells were dead.
●2014 – Congress ordered a moritorium to be done by CDC during the July hearings. The moritorium when completed listed lack of standard operating procedures, not following protocol, storing viruses in unlocked refrigerators in undesignated hallways, improper containers (zip lock baggies), poor inventory records and more. Frieden assured congress all would be addressed and corrected immediately.
●2014 – in August not days after congressional hearings, there was a whistle-blower incident where CDC was using a vaccine for young children and high instances of autism were recorded by users. The whistle-blower accused CDC of fraud and deliberately withholding data.
●2015 – between November 2014 and a January 2015 measles outbreak had parents running scared, refusing to innoculate,and a huge campaign by CDC and many doctors to force compliance.
Now we are again hearing”accidental” and this time it’s live anthrax carted by military in unsecured containment to 24 labs in 11 states and at least two countries and counting.
Here is my take:
These guys are messing with fatal diseases thought long since irradicated that can have worldwide disastrous results. We don’t need terrorists, our own friggin’ CDC is capable by itself. CDC needs more than to be held accountable. It needs a thorough cleaning from top down. Obama chose Frieden, need I say more?!