Adding to concerns about the US military’s handling of dangerous biological threats, the Pentagon today confirmed it “inadvertently” sent out samples of live anthrax bacteria to sites in nine different states, as well as South Korea.
The shipments, incredibly, were done from the Pentagon’s site in Utah by way of a commercial shipper, using standards far below those for live samples. One of the recipients, a private laboratory working on treatments, discovered that its “inactive” sample was very much still active.
Though the Pentagon is attempting to downplay the risks, saying they have no evidence that there is any risk to public health from the shipments, four people who handled the samples in the US are being given treatment. Perhaps even more alarming, 22 Air Force personnel in South Korea are being given emergency treatment for exposure, though the Pentagon insists none have shown symptoms.
The shipments were supposed to be of inactive bacteria to be used by laboratories developing treatments for exposure to biological agents.
This is the second high-profile anthrax case in the US in less than a year. Last summer the CDC accidentally exposed 86 members of its staff in Atlanta to live bacteria as well.
4 thoughts on “Pentagon Accidentally Shipped Live Anthrax to 9 States, South Korea”
How dare the American people not trust these geniuses with all their private information.
Shoulda shipped it to Iraq then blamed them for all the shipments. That way people might talk about re-invading Iraq rather than about Israel's nukes.
Perhaps most of the $$$B the taxpayers bestow upon our military should be used for job training instead of buying hardware and then hiring contractors to operate because the military members are not trained – or too stupid to operate. Perhaps lowering the standards for recruiting purposes is not the way to go…just sayin'
"Inactive" sample? Is that like a snake merely coiled and rattling before your child? Anthrax spores are like seeds, simply waiting for the right conditions to grow and multiply into deadly bacteria. And it is also a little disingenuous to assume that shipments are intended for purely innocuous purposes.
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