The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland, is in the news once again—this time as the subject of an investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) over the possible disappearance of vials of Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE). The institute has had most of its research activities suspended since early February, when USAMRIID commander Col. John Skvorak ordered a full inventory of the lab’s stock of deadly pathogens. The order was issued following the discovery of four vials of VEE that were not listed in the institute’s electronic database. In contrast, the newly disclosed CID investigation is about samples that disappeared sometime between 1987 and 2008. The lab has been in the spotlight since August 2008, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation implicated former USAMRIID researcher Bruce Ivins in the 2001 anthrax letter attacks.
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