Committee Leaders Seek Documents As Investigation of Anthrax Exposure at CDC Lab Continues

July 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent letters to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the recent anthrax exposure at the CDC in Atlanta. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to review the incident next Wednesday, July 16, at 10 a.m.

The leaders write, “As part of its oversight and in preparation for an upcoming hearing, the committee is gathering pertinent background information and documents related to biosafety issues and the CDC laboratories.”

In the letter to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, the committee seeks information from the agency regarding several CDC lab inspections, the number of suspected and actual exposures at CDC, the number of staff approved to work with and access select agents, and figures regarding spending on research and regulation of select agents and toxins. Frieden will testify at next week’s hearing.

In the letter to the HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson, leaders request “copies of HHS Inspector General audits conducted from October 2007 through present on issues and vulnerabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relating to select agent regulations.”

The letters were signed by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Vice Chairman of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). 

Read the complete letters online here