Burgess: CDC Anthrax Exposure is a 'Fire Alarm' That Deserves Serious Attention
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, today issued the following statement regarding the recent breach of safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the subsequent Committee investigation into the matter:
“The Centers for Disease Control plays a vital role in protecting Americans from dangerous outbreaks and bioterrorism threats. They are who the world turns to during a public health crisis. That is why it is all the more upsetting that a breach of safety occurred that could have harmed our finest medical researchers and scientists, who work tirelessly to protect the public from exposure of harmful pathogens.
“Despite the potential for danger involved, it is clear the CDC is taking the right steps to remedy this situation. They have created a high-level working group that reports directly to the CDC director. They have also suspended the transfer of biological materials until they can once again do so safely. But they must remain vigilant; this issue cannot be swept under the rug.
“That is why, when the exposure occurred in late June, I called for a Committee investigation into the matter. Indeed, the purpose of the Energy and Commerce Committee is to protect consumers and reduce public harm. We must continue to hold the CDC to the high standards we always have.
“Since more and more reports continue to surface indicating improper handling of biological materials, I urge the CDC to view this as more that a wakeup call, but a fire alarm that deserves serious attention.”
Burgess noted back in June that this issue deserves a congressional hearing. His remarks may be found here.
More information on today’s hearing may be found here.