Bioweapons Lab "Stand Down" Letter Posted

Obtained by reporter Yudhijit Bhattacharjee:


Sent: Wed Feb 04 16:58:26 2009

Subject: BSAT Inventory Stand down (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE


I will institute a stand down of all biological select agents and toxin (BSAT) activities  beginning on Friday, the 6th.  This is necessary to conduct a complete inventory to identify all BSAT in USAMRIID.  The standard we have employed for 100% accountability has been the ability to find every sample listed in the AIMS database.  However, the standard for 100% accountability understood by the Army and DoD is the ability to account for every container of BSAT in the Institute.  We have previously discovered BSAT not captured in AIMS database.  This is probably due to accounting errors, transcription errors, or BSAT that had not been reassigned when an employee left the Institute.  When this occurred, we either added it to the database or documented destruction, but overages now require submission of a Serious Incident Report, which goes to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. I believe that the probability that there are additional vials of BSAT not  captured in our AIMS database is high.

We must take immediate steps to meet the Army and DoD definition of 100% accountability.  Therefore, we will stand down until we have inventoried all freezers and refrigerators.  I will need certification that the full contents of each freezer and refrigerator have been evaluated and that all BSAT is included in our inventory.  We will use tomorrow to develop a process to conduct this inventory and provide that to you.

We will notify our funding partners.  Animal research currently underway and animal care will not be affected by this stand down.

I apologize for the ramifications this action will have on your research, but I assure you this is an action we must take.


John P. Skvorak



Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE