CDC Requests Funding To Build New High-Containment Laboratory

STAT: CDC requests funds to build new maximum-security laboratory
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Congress for money for a new building to house the laboratories that work on the deadliest pathogens known to humankind. The existing building, which went into service in 2005, will need to be replaced by 2023 or so to avoid major disruptions in the work, senior agency staff told STAT. … The request, which is currently in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, is for $350 million. But more will be needed later; the new high containment continuity laboratory, as it is called, would be built on the site of one of only a few parking facilities on the CDC’s main campus…” (Branswell, 2/23).

Washington Post: CDC seeks new labs for bioterror pathogens to replace aging facility
“…CDC officials flagged the need for a new facility during the Obama administration with officials at the Health and Human Services Department and the White House, but this is the first official request to Congress by any administration. … An appropriations committee aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the budget process is ongoing, said [February 22] that it’s too soon to know what requests will receive serious consideration. ‘Everything is open for negotiation,’ the aide said, adding that ‘public health is definitely a priority.’ Former CDC director Tom Frieden called the labs ‘an essential line of defense against the deadliest health threats.’ He noted that 15 years is a long time in the life span of such crucial high-containment units. ‘Although the age of the labs has not contributed to any lapse in health security,’ he said, ‘CDC needs the upgrades to avoid future problems and to keep pace with improving technology and evolving threats.’ … During an agencywide meeting Friday, CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said the new facility would address issues that have arisen over the years as well as the aging of several automated systems…” (Sun, 2/23).

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