Pentagon Freezes Work at 9 Biodefense Labs Working with Bioterror Germs
Defense officials say that the Pentagon will announce plans to place a moratorium on all operations at 9 biodefense labs with viruses, toxins, and bacteria such as anthrax. The move comes after officials found that policies and procedures at the labs are subpar. 
It’s unclear how long the labs will halt their work, the officials said. The freeze means “nobody is shipping anything,” one official said. Investigators looking into the anthrax lapses have determined that there is much more work to be done. It is not known how long the moratoriums will last.
The freeze was ordered by Army Sec. John McHugh, and extends to the Army, Air Force and Navy. Officials said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution. The facilities won’t reopen until the Army determines operations can resume safely. McHugh will still be able to permit work for security reasons during the moratorium.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook confirmed that live anthrax had been shipped to all 50 states. Cook did not mention the lab moratorium, but said that the Pentagon’s report on the botched handling of the pathogen would be released in October.