Fort Detrick Lab set to resume experiments with Ebola, plague and other deadly toxins
By Sarah Okeson
Research at a secretive Army germ warfare lab about 50 miles from Washington, D.C. that works with tularemia, which spreads more easily than anthrax, has been partially restarted after a federal inspection found two failures in containing unnamed germs or toxins.
No one was exposed to any germs or toxins at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, according to the institute commander.
The institute, once the fiefdom of Sidney Gottlieb who conducted LSD mind-control experiments for the CIA, has a long history of safety lapses.
“Our concept is to start with a small group of people, secure approval for a limited number of studies, and then gradually expand,” said Col. E. Darrin Cox, the new commander of the institute.
The previous commander, Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, who oversaw the lab when problems were found has retired.
The inspection also found the lab failed to implement safety procedures with lapses such as propping open a door while biohazard waste was removed.
In June, an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found leaks and mechanical problems with the lab’s new chemical system to decontaminate wastewater.
The institute was also working with Ebola and the agents known to cause the plague and Venezuelan equine encephalitis when high-level research was voluntarily halted.
The lab will return to sterilizing with heat … Read more.
Featured image: Department of Defense