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DoD: Anthrax Breach Affected Nearly 100 Facilities, 12 States and 7 Countries

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Top Department of Defense officials told the press Thursday that nearly 100 facilities in 12 states and 7 countries were recipients of questionable anthrax samples that all originated from one laboratory. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah used minimal protocols when handling samples. Multiple officials told the press, however, that no “gross negligence” was found in their review of these failures. “There [were] no findings of malfeasance or wanton you know, misuse of protocols. That was the protocols themselves that were at fault,” Work said. Work also said the DoD is “very confident” there is no danger to the general public because of the type of samples. Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall echoed the department’s findings that it was protocols, rather than people, responsible for the inappropriate handling of the biohazard material. “The [Dugway] team was asked the question, ‘How often do your samples fail the verification test?'” And the answer was 2 or 3 percent. They went and checked the records, and found it to be much higher than that. … It was a mistake. I would not call it a lie at this point,” Kendall said.

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