CDC Director Admits to Agency’s Incompetence

Originally published on July 18, 2014, at

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified on Wednesday to members of Congress regarding the CDC’s recent history of potentially lethal mistakes and irresponsibility. Possibly exposing employees to deadly strains of anthrax and bird flu in separate incidents, the CDC has decided to temporarily cease deliveries of all infectious agents from its highest‐security labs.

“These events revealed totally unacceptable behavior,” Dr. Frieden said. “They should never have happened. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over this, and I’m working on it until the issue is resolved.”

In response to the anthrax scare, Rep. Tim Murphy, chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee stated, “Dr. Frieden, this is like saying ‘I didn’t know the gun was loaded, but somebody got shot. But you should always assume it is. For someone to say, ‘Well, I didn’t think the anthrax was live,’ is unacceptable.”

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