Friday, June 19, 2009

Clean out your refridgerator

Ft. Detrick, MD did, and what they found was arguably more icky than anything found in the fridge under your cubicle.

The 13 percent overage mainly reflects stocks left behind in freezers by researchers who retired or left Fort Detrick since the biological warfare defense program was established there in 1943, said Col. Mark Kortepeter, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

He said the found material included Korean War-era serum samples from patients with Korean hemorrhagic fever, a disease still of interest to researchers pursuing a vaccine. Other vials contained viruses and microbes responsible for Ebola, plague, anthrax, botulism and host of other ailments, Kortepeter said in a teleconference with reporters.

Holy smokes!! These guys are saying that it's, like, super easy to overlook vials of deadliness because of all the ice chunks in the freezer and stuff! "Look, it's not our fault!! There's CLUTTER in there for pete's sake!!" Maybe you should not wait sixty six years to clean the things out; not to mention conducting a "spot check" every, like, decade or so to see if, oh I dunno, any of the worlds most deadly toxins are missing? Did you ever think of that!!??!!

And these guys are supposed to be our best and brightest. No wonder they still live at mom's so she can do their laundry.

You don't reckon anybody took some of this stuff home with them at some point in time, do ya?

More scary stuff:
Kortepeter said the inventory found nothing missing from about 70,000 items the institute began cataloging in 2005. He said Army criminal investigators have concluded that three vials of Venezuelan equine encephalitis that were discovered missing last year "were likely used up but for some reason were never recorded with the database."
Yeah. "Except for the 3 vials of VEE, every thing's accounted for!!" So what about the sixty two years of time between when the VEE was "likely" used up and when the Biological Program started? Was anything from the inventory found missing then?

Keep in mind that there are several more facilities like this throughout the country. Are you telling me that nobody in the DoD chain of command, or anyone who work(s)(ed) at the facility during all this time thought to maybe keep a ledger of what went in and out of these freezers?

This is why I think that instead of throwing open the doors to thousands more personnel that have access to these materials, access should instead be cut waaaay back. This is not the field of work to have a mishap where some absent minded professor has a moment of question: "Damn! Where did I place that Igloo cooler of Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever? I must have left it on the bus."