Update: That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was viable

posted at 9:21 pm on July 16, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Last week, the federal government announced that it stumbled upon a little bit of smallpox in a closet during an office move. This small specimen of one of the deadliest diseases in human history, which was wholly unaccounted for and found during an office move, had to be tested to find out exactly how dangerous it was. Because, believe it or not, things can get more dangerous than losing track of smallpox like a communal office bottle of coffee creamer.

It was alive and viable! Live and possibly growing smallpox in what amounts to a minifridge in a government building. No bigs:

At least two of the vials employees at the National Institutes of Health found in an unused storage room earlier this month contain viable samples of the deadly smallpox virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Employees found six forgotten vials when they were preparing to move a lab from the Food and Drug Administration’s Bethesda, Maryland, campus to a different location. The laboratory had been used by the NIH but was transferred to the FDA in 1972…

On Monday, law enforcement agencies transferred the vials to the CDC’s high-containment facility in Atlanta. The CDC is one of only two official World Health Organization designated repositories for smallpox.

CDC Director Tom Frieden said his scientists worked through the night on the samples as soon as they got them. Testing confirmed that there was variola DNA in the vials.

Additional test results showed “evidence of growth” in samples from two of the vials, suggesting that the smallpox virus is alive.


And, that isn’t all! The FDA’s statement:

The investigation found 12 boxes containing a total of 327 carefully packaged vials labeled with names of various biological agents such as dengue, influenza, Q fever, and rickettsia. Upon the discovery of these vials on July 1, 2014, FDA employees followed standard protocol and turned them all over to the appropriate NIH safety program officials, who in turn transferred them to the appropriate investigative agencies, as per standard protocols.


FDA also announces it will be doing an exhaustive minifridge inventory to make sure no one’s keeping the plague behind some skunky Yuengling.

While an investigation continues regarding the origin of these samples, this collection was most likely assembled between 1946 and 1964 when standards for work with and storage of biological specimens were very different from those used today. All of the items labeled as infectious agents found in the collection of samples were stored in glass, heat-sealed vials that were well-packed, intact, and free of any leakage, and there is no evidence that anyone was exposed to these agents.

Overlooking such a sample collection is clearly unacceptable. The FDA has already taken steps to ensure that similar material is not present in its other cold storage areas by initiating a thorough review of all common cold storage spaces. The agency is in the process of reviewing its policies and procedures in order to implement a corrective action plan so that potentially hazardous samples are never overlooked in the future.

The smallpox incident is the third dangerous disease flub made by federal government over the last three months. The first involved the potential exposure of 75 employees to anthrax. In the second, the CDC shipped a strain of very dangerous avian flu to the Department of Agriculture thinking it was a more innocuous animal flu virus.

There are now some new rules for dealing with dangerous diseases, though it doesn’t seem employees were adhering to the original rules, so I’m not sure what difference it will make. But a moratorium on FedExing deadly agents around sounds good until we figure out the root of the problem:

Following a string of public-safety scares, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be shutting down two research labs, temporarily stopping all transfers of samples from high-level biosafety labs and strengthening its laboratory safety precautions, the CDC announced in a report Friday.

“This is a wake-up call,” CDC director Tom Frieden, said in a press conference Friday. “These events should never have happened, and they tell us we have to make significant improvements.” …

The CDC will be implementing a moratorium — or complete stop of the transfers of samples — on all biosafety level 3 and 4 labs, which contain the highest level of pathogenic samples, until all labs are fully assessed. Frieden said he has also appointed Michael Bell to the position of Director of Lab Safety, which will oversee a team of lab safety evaluators as well as look into the training of lab staff in appropriate procedures. Frieden said the CDC will also be taking disciplinary action against CDC staff who knowingly didn’t follow protocol or report incidents.

Correction: Changed the headline to remove “alive.”


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And we trust these bozos with so much…

ladyingray on July 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Warning: Don’t not accept any blankets from FEMA or any other federal agency if you’re a conservative.

Flange on July 16, 2014 at 9:26 PM

On the bright side they can use that excuse if our new visitors cause a deadly outbreak.

Southernblogger on July 16, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Additional test results showed “evidence of growth” in samples from two of the vials, suggesting that the smallpox virus is alive.

Now wait a minute here. That looks like editorial stupidity on the part of the author. That does NOT suggest the virus was still alive when found. There isn’t a single quote in that article from those who performed the testing to support this assertion. Ridiculous.

NotCoach on July 16, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Alive and kicking. And let’s not forget infected Mexicans crashing the borders at will. You can trust Obama.

Judge_Dredd on July 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Warning: Don’t not accept any blankets from FEMA or any other federal agency if you’re a conservative.

Flange on July 16, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Emphasis added.

bettycooper on July 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Well, we’re importing plenty of diseases on our Southern border right now so what’s a few more?

Ukiah on July 16, 2014 at 9:31 PM

So what’s the problem? Stuff gets misplaced all the time.

arnold ziffel on July 16, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Different agency but living anthrax was just found being stored in…..zip loc bags!

can_con on July 16, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Does anyone else find it weird that all of these government entities are so inept? I mean, we’ve joked about stuff for years but this stuff is getting serious. And what hasn’t been covered in incompetence, seems to have been politicized. These are not things that get turned around in a jiffy.

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

MKH. Your headline is incorrect. Viruses aren’t classified as living organisms.

You should change it to:

‘That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was infectious”

Also, viruses don’t grow, they replicate.

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

The Obama Reich has “misplaced” quite a number of invaders with TB too. Oh wait! They’re spreading them out across America.

VorDaj on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

The investigation found 12 boxes containing a total of 327 carefully packaged vials labeled with names of various biological agents such as dengue, influenza, Q fever, and rickettsia.

How in Gods name is this even possible?

No vial should leave one of those labs without a tracking number and a return date, or detailed knowledge of where it is going and express authorization to do so.

What kind of Popsicle stand are they running?

sharrukin on July 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM

The monstrous, federal bureaucracy, run by Obama and his radical left minions, who ONLY care about “The Cause” and who to trample with it, is a disaster in the making the likes of which this nation has never before even fathomed.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM

‘That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was infectious”

Also, viruses don’t grow, they replicate.

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

She copied the headline from the ignorant CNN writer. And I see no proof anywhere the virus was still infectious after 60+ years of poor storage, only that it replicated itself at some point in the last 60 years.

NotCoach on July 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Does anyone else find it weird that all of these government entities are so inept? I mean, we’ve joked about stuff for years but this stuff is getting serious. And what hasn’t been covered in incompetence, seems to have been politicized. These are not things that get turned around in a jiffy.

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Laziness, incompetence, a younger workforce that grew up being told they are special, no competition needed to keep a job, no way to fire government employees… all the simple stuff.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

I’m sure glad those ISIS guys don’t read about stuff like this…

bofh on July 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

So what’s the problem? Stuff gets misplaced all the time.

arnold ziffel on July 16, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Yup. Like IRS approvals, e-mails, birf certificates…

Judge_Dredd on July 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

was?

And words of a climate change fanatic:
“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” -John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
Note that yesterday Shepard Smith on Fox was attributing the cold midwest temperatures to global warming. Yeah, I get that Fox is trying to put all sides, left and right, on. But saying that the cold is caused by heat is a bit too much.

anotherJoe on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

When I was a kid, the government could handle stuff like this.

Now all they can do is CYA and they can’t even do that well.

formwiz on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

The monstrous, federal bureaucracy, run by Obama and his radical left minions, who ONLY care about “The Cause” and who to trample with it, is a disaster in the making the likes of which this nation has never before even fathomed.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM

This is not Obama’s fault per say. This is the results of a workforce (and this happens in private and federal workforces) that have become lazy and entitled.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Does anyone else find it weird that all of these government entities are so inept?

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Not in the least.
What makes the federal employee infallible- that the rest of us don’t have?

bettycooper on July 16, 2014 at 9:40 PM

No worse than what is waltzing across the border every day.

Bishop on July 16, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Add in a god complex and an utter and complete contempt for anyone not part of their clique, which most of them learned from their college profs, and you have the recipe for almost any disaster you can imagine, even if your name isn’t Stephen King.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 16, 2014 at 9:41 PM

No worse than what is waltzing across the border every day.

Bishop on July 16, 2014 at 9:40 PM

I watched Purple Rain the other day.

Judge_Dredd on July 16, 2014 at 9:41 PM

The problem is probably that they have procedures, but instead they need checklists.

This has been done in aviation for decades, and is slowly being implemented in medicine. People may think that checklists are for dummies, but the problem is that smart people make assumptions and skip over the details.

Checklists may be mind-numbing, but they really do help get the little details squared away. And anyone who wants to blow off that stupid checklist? Just show them the door to the unimployment line.

DaveK on July 16, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:38 PM

We have a lot of military folks getting pink slips that could probably turn this around p.d.q.. Time to get rid of the entitled.

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Ogabe probably traded it along with his 5 Taliban friends for the deserter.

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Clearly, they need more funding…

/sarcasm

Snowblind on July 16, 2014 at 9:43 PM

This is not Obama’s fault per say. This is the results of a workforce (and this happens in private and federal workforces) that have become lazy and entitled.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

No, things like this don’t happen in the private sector. Not without a lot of firings, lawsuits and probably criminal charges.

In the Federal Government, people that allow things like this to happen, get promoted and nice big bonus.

That is IF they ever even find out who was responsible for it. Then again, if they do figure out who dropped the ball, it’ll all be neatly shoved under the rug, never to be heard of again.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

You don’t want to over-fund stupid.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

It’s only small pox, not big pox. No big whoop.

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM

No, things like this don’t happen in the private sector. Not without a lot of firings, lawsuits and probably criminal charges.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Then you’re saying things do happen like this in the private sector. You can’t have it both ways.

Anyway. Blaming Obama for every screw up in the federal sector just makes you sound silly. And that was polite.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Leave the CDC alone! They are doing important work proving that gun ownership is a dangerous disease requiring treatment!

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2014 at 9:49 PM

It’s only small pox, not big pox. No big whoop.

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM

.
Right-on, it’s not like it’s the Ebola virus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
.
.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is it ?

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Then you’re saying things do happen like this in the private sector. You can’t have it both ways.

Anyway. Blaming Obama for every screw up in the federal sector just makes you sound silly. And that was polite.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I didn’t blame Obama per se. But there is no question AT ALL, that the Federal Bureaucratic clusterfrack is more corrupt, more secretive, and LESS ACCOUNTABLE than at any other time in our history.

Oh, unless you happen to be a DimocRat that is. Then it’s ALLLLL good.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:51 PM

If smallpox remains viable in refrigerators, it is remaining viable in glaciers.

Don’t eat yellow snow.

pedestrian on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

MKH. Your headline is incorrect. Viruses aren’t classified as living organisms.

You should change it to:

‘That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was infectious”

Also, viruses don’t grow, they replicate.

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Thank you, sirs/ma’ams (NotCoach as well). Good point on “alive,” but viable seems to be an accepted word for the state of the virus, which the CDC has said if it hadn’t been sealed properly could have led to a smallpox infection. Viable seems like a reasonable word for that. I actually added “viable” to my headline because I wanted to cover bases given that I’m not an expert on the terminology. Thanks, and will take out “alive.”

Mary Katharine Ham on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

In related news ABC News, Brian Williams, and Gwen Ifill were extolling the virtues of smallpox having been emancipated rather than confined to a stuffy little laboratory with The Man intent on suppressing it.

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I blame Dog Eater, he’s the latest in a long line of dimwitted liberal aszhats who scream that government is the final answer, and then he got his drooling buddies in Congress to shove DeathCare down our collective throats.

Government screws things up all the time, and no one really pays attention if some idiot clerk manages to get a stop-sign erected in the wrong place, but we’re talking about deadly diseases here. Yet all the leftists want to do is wave their fingers in our faces and tell us everything will be fine.

And no one ever gets punished. Ever. Dog Eater is enabling that, in fact he’s making it worse a hundred times over.

Bishop on July 16, 2014 at 9:58 PM

No, things like this don’t happen in the private sector. Not without a lot of firings, lawsuits and probably criminal charges.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM

.
Then you’re saying things do happen like this in the private sector. You can’t have it both ways.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:47 PM

.
What Meople said … is that it’s much more RARE, because in the private-sector, employees get their asses FIRED, on the spot … over stuff like this.

Who’s getting fired over this gross negligence ?
.

Anyway. Blaming Obama for every screw up in the federal sector just makes you sound silly. And that was polite.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:47 PM

.
Now there Walter’ has you, Meople . . . . . you hafta’ blame ALL American citizens like Walter’, for voting for ALL of the politicians who “screw up in the federal sector.”

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

But a moratorium on FedExing deadly agents around sounds good until we figure out the root of the problem:

Silly MKH… We are doomed, and rightfully so, the root of the problem is stupidity, greed and lust for power. America will wish it were Sodom and Gomorrah before this is over.

oscarwilde on July 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Thanks, and will take out “alive.”

Mary Katharine Ham on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Careful, that could be interpreted as a threat.:-)

Flange on July 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Sounds fishy to me.

Loose WMDs floating around all over the country???

I hope the House is looking into this. Really.

faraway on July 16, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Anyway. Blaming Obama for every screw up in the federal sector just makes you sound silly. And that was polite.

Walter L. Newton on July 16, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Isn’t Obama in charge of the Executive Branch agencies? And therefore responsible? Who else is in a position to make amends when something happens if not the CEO; and if we don’t hold him or her responsible then what incentive do they have to make the necessary changes?

Idiot. And that’s being nice.

kcewa on July 16, 2014 at 10:03 PM

FDA also announces it will be doing an exhaustive minifridge inventory to make sure no one’s keeping the plague behind some skunky Yuengling.

lol I know exactly what you mean.

lexhamfox on July 16, 2014 at 10:03 PM

MKH. Your headline is incorrect. Viruses aren’t classified as living organisms.

You should change it to:

‘That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was infectious”

Also, viruses don’t grow, they replicate.

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

.
Thank you, sirs/ma’ams (NotCoach as well). Good point on “alive,” but viable seems to be an accepted word for the state of the virus, which the CDC has said if it hadn’t been sealed properly could have led to a smallpox infection. Viable seems like a reasonable word for that. I actually added “viable” to my headline because I wanted to cover bases given that I’m not an expert on the terminology. Thanks, and will take out “alive.”

Mary Katharine Ham on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

.
Didn’t go to medical school, huh ? . . . . . Me neither.

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

In related news ABC News, Brian Williams, and Gwen Ifill were extolling the virtues of smallpox having been emancipated rather than confined to a stuffy little laboratory with The Man intent on suppressing it.

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 9:58 PM

How long until we hear of the first case of smallpox or something like it coming up through the wide-open souther border?

We already know swine flu is here because of it. Just a matter of time before something worse pops up.

All brought to you by Obama and the Dims.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Thank you, sirs/ma’ams (NotCoach as well). Good point on “alive,” but viable seems to be an accepted word for the state of the virus,

Mary Katharine Ham on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Oh, ands since we are trying for accuracy here, the term in this case is virii, virus is singular, virri is plural.

oscarwilde on July 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM

…spread it in the White House garden.

JugEarsButtHurt on July 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Didn’t have access from my previous post:

http://www.wbir.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/16/congress-hearing-cdc-lab-safety-anthrax-incident/12721585/

The USDA’s most recent inspection occurred after the CDC discovered in June that its researchers had used an unapproved protocol to deactivate anthrax spores, potentially exposing dozens of other employees to live anthrax after the specimens were transferred to other agency labs. The CDC shut down the lab involved in the incident, and the USDA halted all work with select agents and toxins, Dick testified.

Problems identified by USDA’s inspectors included an inadequate initial response to the anthrax incident that included failing to fully secure and disinfect exposed lab areas and equipment. Some of the disinfectants used by the CDC turned out to be expired, and employees lacked appropriate training to disinfect areas or to know what to do in the event of exposure, they found. USDA also found “no clear management oversight of the incident within the various laboratories that were impacted.”

While investigating the anthrax missteps, the CDC learned of another glaring mistake involving a different set of scientists who had cross-contaminated a benign strain of bird flu with a deadly strain, then shipped the specimens to a USDA lab that later discovered the mistake when their research birds died.

In addition to the mistakes at the CDC, forgotten vials of deadly smallpox virus were discovered this month in an unauthorized cold storage area at the National Institutes of Health. There have been other issues:

can_con on July 16, 2014 at 10:07 PM

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 9:58 PM

How long until we hear of the first case of smallpox or something like it coming up through the wide-open souther border?

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Never thought I would be grateful for having Chickenpox as a kid… <— Insert evil laughter here.

oscarwilde on July 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

OHH, you’re right! How could I have left THEM out? In that case I add in all of Obama’s dumb$h!t voters in the pot of blame as well.

They enabled and encouraged ALL of this.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 10:09 PM

It’s only small pox, not big pox. No big whoop.

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Right-on, it’s not like it’s the Ebola virus . .
….is it?

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Just wait until you find out what they found in the fridge on Tuesday…..

SubmarineDoc on July 16, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Didn’t go to medical school, huh ? . . . . . Me neither.

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Me neither, and I would have continued to use the incorrect terminology as well if nazo didn’t say anything.

NotCoach on July 16, 2014 at 10:12 PM

oscarwilde on July 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Cowpox (vaccinia) is the one you want not chickenpox.

I’ve had that smallpox vaccination already probably to visit Brazil or Russia, or both.

I may get a full spectrum booster set if Ogabe’s invading illegals keep pouring in.

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

How long until we hear of the first case of smallpox or something like it coming up through the wide-open souther border?

All brought to you by Obama and the Dims.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Boy!..that would be a super crisis. No one would question the government taking over. They would demand the government step in. Restrict movement..stay in your house. Quarantine some areas.
Funny how it seems that so many security measures that have work for decades are now failing to catch much of anything, even unbelievably important things like borders, dispersing groups of illegal aliens into various and distant communities with no tracking. Major biological and weapons, and information files suddenly seem to be handled by highschool students, as far as responsibility goes.
Why do you suppose that is? How can it be? Just a coincidence??

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

That’s the November plan… Ogabe intends to quarantine all the voting places.

viking01 on July 16, 2014 at 10:17 PM

It’s only small pox, not big pox. No big whoop.

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM
.

Right-on, it’s not like it’s the Ebola virus . .

….is it?

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

.
Just wait until you find out what they found in the fridge on Tuesday…..

SubmarineDoc on July 16, 2014 at 10:11 PM

.
Oh, my wife will love that … she doesn’t work in the lab, but she does work in a hospital.

listens2glenn on July 16, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Now there Walter’ has you, Meople . . . . . you hafta’ blame ALL American citizens like Walter’, for voting for ALL of the politicians who “screw up in the federal sector.”

Let’s be fair here. These were lost between 1946 and 1964. It’s Kennedy or or Truman’s fault.

irishgladiator63 on July 16, 2014 at 10:21 PM

“Oh well, there’s an outbreak of deadly disease and we just can’t have people gathering in public buildings this fall, you know what I’m sayin’?”

-Dog Eater

Bishop on July 16, 2014 at 10:24 PM

never thought I would be grateful for having Chickenpox as a kid… <—Insert evil laughter here. oscarwilde on July 16, 2014 at 10:08 PM

You still have it. In the base of your brain.. as I found out after a case of shingles.

Man,, it sucked. Two weeks of hellish pain.

wolly4321 on July 16, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Everything’s a conspiracy theory, until it’s proven to be true and happens.

Everyone said Beck was nuts when he predicted that ISIS or something like it, would do exactly what they’re doing now, as soon as Obama surrendered in Iraq.

“Fundamental Transformation” isn’t going to work out the way Obama’s minions thought it would.

Meople on July 16, 2014 at 10:32 PM

I don’t know what is more frightening, that these deadly pathogens went unaccounted for during a period of from 50 to 67 years or that the journalist (and I use the term loosely) didn’t question how that could possibly happen. How many times were these labs reorganized with no notice taken? How many refrigeration unit changes happened? (Sorry, refrigeration units from the forties and fifties weren’t designed to last 50 to 60 years.) There are few government agencies that foster confidence anymore, and they seem to be fewer every day.

yesiamapirate on July 16, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Does anyone else find it weird that all of these government entities are so inept?

Cindy Munford on July 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Not at all. Government entities have no actual, competitive measures to force them to be anything but inept. There are no real-life standards, imposed externally to these entities, that could force them to maintain any level of competence, efficiency or sense. All peerless, competitionless entities are guaranteed to grow in dangerous and grotesque ways. GUARANTEED.

As we always say, this is why the government is only tasked with a minimal set of responsibilities. It is known that government is going to carry out all of its responsibilities poorly and inefficiently, but there are a very small number of such tasks that we are willing to have done in such a poor way.

The fact that there are people around who seem convinced that government actually does anything better than private firms (which have serious external measures and competition to force their efficiency and production) is almost comical. The fact that a large percentage of people actually thinkt hat the government does EVERYTHING better than private firms (as Barky and the dems have been claiming for his un-American national socialization of health insurance/care, financial control, running car companies, …) just indicates that we have a serious issue of mental midgets and dangerous lunatics taking up a large percentage of the population. Too large a percentage to ever hope to have a sane society.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 16, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Boy!..that would be a super crisis. No one would question the government taking over. They would demand the government step in. Restrict movement..stay in your house. Quarantine some areas.
Funny how it seems that so many security measures that have work for decades are now failing to catch much of anything, even unbelievably important things like borders, dispersing groups of illegal aliens into various and distant communities with no tracking. Major biological and weapons, and information files suddenly seem to be handled by highschool students, as far as responsibility goes.
Why do you suppose that is? How can it be? Just a coincidence??

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

If you are returning to the US through an airport, don’t get caught by ICE with a ham sandwich or you’ll really get the third degree.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM

That little bit of smallpox the feds misplaced was viable

Nonsense. Smallpox, Communism and Al-Qaeda are all dead.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on July 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Thanks.

nazo311 on July 16, 2014 at 11:17 PM

How about we stop FedExing diseases across the border into the USA, too?

The Rogue Tomato on July 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM

What’s a little smallpox among friends?

307wolverine on July 16, 2014 at 11:46 PM

It’s only small pox, not big pox. No big whoop.

Mimzey on July 16, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Big Pox is already running wild. The epicenter of the infection seems to be on the north bank of the Potomac.

trigon on July 17, 2014 at 12:17 AM

All of this started when the federal government was so much more trusted by the American people.

That is the problem: people started to trust government to do things other than the things it was given to do.

If diseases are a threat to national security then the DoD should be in charge of them because they have an actual system for making sure that incompetence is punished, usually with hard labor. At least this was true until Bergdahl…the erosion of the courts martial as a functioning system should be considered a war crime because it makes soldiers unaccountable to the standards of conduct of the military AND the laws of war.

People at the CDC, FDA, etc.? Wrist slapping at best, promotions for the incompetent at worse. Those who ran F&F got PROMOTIONS. And the IRS hands out obscene bonuses to people doing political dirty work. Are those people at the CDC and FDA who were in charge of this material ever going to be held accountable when the stuff posed a public health threat potential right up to the moment it was discovered because NO ONE TRACKED IT? Oh, wait, many of them are gone and with government benefits on retirement… can’t go after them… and those in charge now ‘didn’t know’ what was under their care although they are RESPONSIBLE for knowing just that. No, they will ask for more money, seek to expand their agencies and follow Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy. They won’t get punished nor their agencies cut until competence is found: they will get REWARDED FOR BAD BEHAVIOR AND INCOMPETENCE.

By rewarding it we will get more of it.

Don’t think so?

That is how we have arrived right where we are at TODAY. All you need to trust is your lyin’ eyes, and see who is lionized and who is not punished as they will be one in the same.

ajacksonian on July 17, 2014 at 6:46 AM

It’s good to know that the standards for keeping and storing all those deadly vials is so much better today than 50 years ago. I’d feel so much safer now except for those cute little foreign tykes bringing new strains across our southern border.

Kissmygrits on July 17, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Sounds like the TSA with lab coats.

sewer urchin on July 17, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Warning: Don’t not accept any blankets from FEMA or any other federal agency if you’re a conservative.

Flange on July 16, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Has anyone checked those bears Beck is taking down south?

GWB on July 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Last week, the federal government announced that it stumbled upon a little bit of smallpox in a closet during an office move.

Yes, and because it is the federal government, who are completely trustworthy, we can believe everything they tell us about this. Maybe they’ll really work to make us trust them and let the VA handle it.

earlgrey on July 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM