A US Army lab accidentally shipped live anthrax to at least 192 laboratories, according to a Department of Defense statement. That’s more than double the number reported by the Pentagon in June.
On the DOD's Laboratory Review site, the agency on Monday updated the list of all the laboratories that had received anthrax spores. The list now includes labs in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington, DC. Seven foreign countries also received the shipments, including Japan, the UK, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Italy, and Germany.
"It’s déjà vu all over again."
This is at least the third time the Pentagon has updated the number of labs that accidentally received shipments of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that makes up anthrax. The Defense Department originally claimed in May that it accidentally sent live anthrax samples to labs in nine states and South Korea. But by June, more than 51 labs in 17 states were reported as having received accidental anthrax, as did labs in three foreign countries. A Pentagon investigation into the incident released last week could not determine the root cause behind the mistaken shipment.
At a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill, Congressional representatives voiced their anger over the recent numbers update. "It’s déjà vu all over again," said Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), chair of the investigation subcommittee hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at the hearing according to BuzzFeed. "What we have here is a pattern of recurring issues, of complacency, and a lax culture of safety."