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Old 02-11-2018, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
You’ve obviously put a lot, a LOT of time and thought into this, but do you really think people are going to read all of this? I’m not going to waste countless hours debating this, but Wow, you are definitely making some leaps. That’s all I will say. Continue your crusade if you like.
No, my real purpose is to plant this info on the WWW so that when the NBAF has an accidental, or intentional, release of pathogens, Kansans can find that DURC should have been discussed during KSU's initial presentation to the public. WHEN it leaks, I hope that the proponents will still be alive to reap the furor of Kansas agriculture.

Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) is life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security. The United States Government’s oversight of DURC is aimed at preserving the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research.

https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology...ch-of-concern/

Col. Jerry Jaax, KSU Veterinarian appears @ ~ 0:29 in this video. He's known about DURC from the moment the FBI found the anthrax came from the USAMRIID.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yS1ur24j40
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357
Default I'm as mad as hell, and i'm not going to take this (NBAF) anymore!'

Just want to thank the 55 of so, who've clicked on this thread since I posted on 2/12.
It's obvious 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS (NBAF) ANYMORE!'

The Manhattan Mercury ran a series of articles by Bill Felber, who travelled to the other 5 sites* "competing" for NBAF:

Out of 29 original sites considered in 2006, the agency selected six finalists in 2008:

University of Georgia/South Milledge Ave – Athens, Georgia
Kansas State University – Manhattan, Kansas (ONLY SITE W/RINGER ON HOMELAND SECURITY SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITEE (HSSTAC), DR. DAVID R. FRANZ, COMMANDER USAMRIID & ENABLER OF ANTHRAX MAILER, imho, of course)
Flora Industrial Park – Madison County, Mississippi (Kirk Schulz was in charge of Miss.'s "consortium"; any wonder why he was KSU's next President?)
Plum Island Animal Disease Center – New York
Umstead Research Farm – Granville County, North Carolina
Texas Research Park – San Antonio, Texas

Before the selection of the site, several rural advocacy groups, such as the National Grange, spoke out against the idea of locating the facility on the mainland.[9] In addition, groups formed in Manhattan; Athens, Georgia; and Butner, North Carolina to oppose the lab.

above from Wiki

Felber's article on his trip to Flora, MS, depicted Mississippians as too ignorant to run the NBAF. I've wondered whether, after arriving @ KSU, President Schulz had any conversations with Felber on this depiction?

KSU chose a new president, Kirk Schulz, who had been Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Mississippi State University, a member of the Mississippi NBAF consortium

Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domestic Bio-Defense ...
By Kenneth King

Plum Island Animal Disease Center – New York PIADC was visited by HSSTAC & deemed too out-dated, & too expensive to upgrade to BSL-4 (note prevailing winds blow pathogens out to sea, in the advent of any release; there have been several releases). I believe Franz would have been the HSSTAC member others looked to on "biological labs safety." HSSTAC consisted of several other scientists & common citizens, including the Sheriff of an Iowa County. In addition to the NBAF sites, HSSTAC was tasked with visiting all Govt. labs with potential as terrorism targets.

The names of the actual members of DHS' site selection committee have never been released.

Dr. Franz was not an original member of HSSTAC. Google now can't find his original appt. A # of HSSTAC meeting minutes have been purged from DHS on-line files; other minutes previously viewable, ~ 2008, are now sealed as SENSITIVE & only the minutes' cover page with date of the HSSTAC meeting is on-line. Why, well I read minutes' report which quoted (Ret.) Gen. Welch (only HSSTAC member to use military title, Franz was always labelled as "Dr.", never "Colonel.")

Gen. Welch (re: site plans for the NBAF at KSU) show municipal water lines. These would not be shown on the plans for any military installation.

The Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) met May 20-21, 2004, at various locations throughout New York City.

GENERAL WELCH: Next up is the Program Subcommittee.

DR. HAPPER: Let me introduce the Program Subcommittee; it consists of Ken Shine, Ron Atlas, David Franz and me. We welcome anyone who would like to join us in any of our meetings. We'll try and keep you informed on what we're doing.

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/...20-21May04.pdf

As I compiled info on HSSTAC, it was shared with No NBAF in Kansas & the groups at the other 4 sites still under consideration. A TX group asked the DHS Inspector General to look into Dr. Franz' presence on the HSSTAC as a member of KSU's faculty. The IG's response ~ the site selection official was unaware whom Dr. Franz worked for, so there was no conflict of interest.

The National Research Council on Friday said that while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has made “substantial improvement” in how it estimates the danger of contamination or accidental release of dangerous pathogens at the facility planned for Kansas State University, those estimates are plagued with deficiencies and continue to cloud the project’s future.

“The committee concludes that the (risk assessment) is technically inadequate in critical respects and is an insufficient basis on which to judge the risks associated with the proposed NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas,” the panel wrote in its report.

https://www.bizjournals.com/kansasci...skeptical.html


A new National Research Council report, prepared with input from the National Academies of Scientists, says there are "several significant shortcomings" in the risk assessment done by the Department of Homeland Security for the operations of the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) at Manhattan, Kan.

The report particularly addressed the risk of Foot and Mouth Disease escaping from the laboratory and infecting cattle, pigs or wildlife in the vicinity of the lab, putting the risk of such a release at "nearly 70%" and estimating the cost of such an event at between $9 billion and $50 billion.

But DHS officials, and officials at Kansas State University in Manhattan where the facility will be located, took exception to that, calling it misleading.

"That is an assessment of the cumulative risks with no mitigation measures in place and it is a very misleading number," says James Johnson, director of the Office of National Labs with DHS. "In reality, we are very early in the design process, but we already have identified potential risks and ways to mitigate them. When you apply mitigation strategies to the picture, then the risk drops dramatically. This is a very, very low risk project."

National Research Council Finds Shortcomings in Risk Report on NBAF | Western Farmer Stockman
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357
Default NBAF Spew-offs need Kansas land to make out-of-state income

Manhattan Developer/Builder Doug DeMonbrun estimated ~ 2008, that each KSU acre along Kimball Ave, between Dennison & College Avenues to be worth $Millions. After previous transfers of some of these acres, the KSU Foundation wants another 4.4713 acres to wheel & deal with commercial enterprises.

It should be noted that KSU Foundation employees were NOT subject to getting no pay raises for years, as all State of KS employees suffered.

https://www.kansasregents.org/resour...12-13_2018.pdf


President Myers presented Kansas State University’s vision for the North Campus Corridor and Athletic Complex. KSU has partnered with the City of Manhattan and private businesses to develop plans and strategies for growing the North Campus. The goal is to create an area where industry can be located together with the University and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). President Myers noted the advances to the corridor were designed to support the University’s research mission and its strategic plan, K-State 2025. Regent Bangerter stated the potential economic growth associated with the NBAF coming online will have a positive impact on the University, City of Manhattan, and the state.

No mention that the Nat'l. Academies of Science estimated a 70% probability that the NBAF, over its 50-yr lifespan, would have an accidental (no mention of intentional) release of Foot & Mouth Disease => DHS estimate in 2008 of a cost of $5Billion to "cull" all herds within 250 miles of the NBAF.
Such a mishap would have a NEGATIVE "impact on the University, City of Manhattan, and the state."

Matt Casey, Director of Government Relations, presented Kansas State University’s request to sell property in Riley County. This is the first read on this item.

1. Legislative Proposal: Request to sell property in Riley County
Issue Background: Kansas State University is seeking approval to sell property in the area referred to as the North Campus Corridor (NCC). The 4.4713 acres proposed for sale is adjacent to the K-State Grain Science Campus and the Agronomy Farm and Experimental Fields. Also, the property is contiguous with land owned and under development by the Kansas State University Foundation. This sale of the property provides a unique opportunity to bring business and industry partners to the area in the realm of animal health, infectious disease, and issues related to global foods and nutrition.
Rationale/Consequences: The KSU Foundation, with Kansas State University’s agreement, recently finalized a commercial master plan to create homes for over 5,000 industry partner jobs that are expected in the NCC in the future. The 2015 Kansas State University North Campus Corridor Master Plan (NCCMP) includes two proposed buildings in this general location with the purpose labeled as “Research/University Partners”. The updated K‐ State Office Park Master Plan (OPMP) shifts one of the proposed buildings closer to Kimball Avenue and the parking to the north of the building, adjacent to the existing parking. This adjustment will enhance the corridor. Construction of future buildings on the site would begin based upon space demand as the Office Park fills.
Fiscal and Administrative Impact: There is no fiscal impact to the University.
Impact on Other State Agencies: No fiscal impact to other state agencies. There could be potential workforce benefit to State agency or other government employees with trailing partners looking for employment and conversely employees in the NCC with trailing partners who are potential State agency or other government employees.
What would happen if proposal was not enacted? The property would remain as property of Kansas State University. The opportunity to enhance economic development in the community, surrounding region and state would not be realized.
Draft Proposed Legislation:
Kansas State University, following approval by the state board of regents, is hereby authorized and empowered to convey all property located in Riley County, Kansas. A Tract of land being part of the Southeast Quarter of Section 1, Township 10 South, Range 7 East, and part of Government Lot 19 in Section 6, Township 10 South, Range 8 East of the Sixth Principle Meridian, in the City of Manhattan, Riley County, Kansas.
BEGINNING at the Southwest corner of Lot 2, KSU FOUNDATION ADDITION, UNIT 2, monumented by a found 1⁄2-inch reinforcing rod; Thence South 89o12'16'' West, 250.00 feet, on the North Right-of-Way line of
66

December 12-13, 2018 Discussion Agenda | Wednesday
Kimball Avenue, as established in Book 277, Page 365; Thence departing said Right-of-Way line, North 02o20'41'' West, 108.03 feet, parallel with and 250.00 feet West of the West line of said Lot 2; Thence North 47o31'54'' West, 260.47 feet, on a line parallel with and 20.00 feet Northeast of an existing building located at 1980 Kimball Avenue and designated as IGP Institute; Thence North 02o20'41'' West, 28.75 feet, parallel with and 434.69 feet West of the West line of said Lot 2; Thence North 42o24'43'' East, 497.38 feet, on a line parallel with and 30.00 feet Southeast of an existing building located at 1980 Kimball Avenue, designated as Grain Science Center; Thence North 89o12'16'' East, 84.52 feet, to a point on the West line of said KSU
FOUNDATION ADDITION, UNIT 2, said point lying South 02o20'41'' East, 125.00 feet Northwest Corner of Lot 3, said KSU FOUNDATION ADDITION UNIT 2; Thence South 02o20'41'' East, 678.03 feet, on said West line, to POINT OF BEGINNING, said Tract containing 194,769 square feet or 4.4713 acres.
When the sale is made, the proceeds thereof shall be deposited in restricted use account of Kansas state university of agriculture and applied science.
FIRST READ
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357
Just want to thank the 18 who've clicked on this thread since I posted on 12/15 @ 6:19 PM. IF you work for DHS, I hope your grade level is equivalent to the DoD employees @ DMAAC who spent their work hours reading foreign-language newspapers & magazines to glean the dimensions of new structures around the world to enhance guidance for cruise missiles. Oh, & good morning Colonel Jaax!
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357
Default Kansas agroterrorism lab raises questions amid delays

This article appeared 5 Apr 2019. It's the latest of any pertinent NBAF info I've seen anywhere in some time. NOTE: Marti Vanier, descirbed as K-State veterinarian Marty Vanier, the government’s contracted liaison between NBAF and the Manhattan community,IMHO is double-billed. She now works for DHS, & was director of KSU's BRI (no mention of DHS' secret sanctions on the BRI in this article; nor that the BRI's first business mgr was convicted for cashing BRI checks into her personal account).

I've communicated with co-author Laura Ziegler, KPR, re: NBAF. She's aware that TX filed suit against DHS, not based upon tornado alley risks, but upon KSU/MRI Global's VP David Franz sitting on DHS' Homeland Security Science & Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) telling them Plum Island couldn't be remodeled & to build the NBAF @ his alma mater.

I've been in communication with Bill Dorsett & Sylvia Beeman re:NBAF as well. Sylvia was quoted in the Lawrence Journal World back in 2012.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/ja...s-federal-lab/

The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas agroterrorism lab raises questions amid delays

It will be at least three more years before the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being constructed at Kansas State University opens, although it was supposed to in 2018. The $1.25 billion project has overrun its initial cost by hundreds of millions of dollars, partly because of needing stronger walls and barriers to prevent diseases from escaping.

By Laura Ziegler and Brian Grimmett, Harvest Public Media
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at 12:01 AM
MANHATTAN — Against the hum of backhoes and bulldozers, a fortress of concrete and steel buildings gradually rises on the north end of Kansas State University’s campus.

The top-level federal biocontainment laboratory is designed to study the most infectious, exotic animal diseases — lethal to humans and capable of crippling the country’s livestock. They could hitch a ride from animal to animal or human to human. Hostile nations might even use the diseases to trigger mass chaos and possibly upend the U.S. food supply chain.

But, right now, there aren’t any animals around here. Just the construction site, a self-contained utility plant and a bunch of trailers belonging to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and McCarthy-Mortenson Joint Venture, a contractor that’s building the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

“NBAF is on schedule, on time and on budget,” said Tim Barr, who is the on-site DHS project manager, and a native of McPherson.

Well, not exactly. There’s at least three years to go before NBAF even opens; it was supposed to in 2018. The $1.25 billion project has overrun its initial cost by hundreds of millions of dollars, partly because of needing stronger walls and barriers to prevent diseases from escaping. This is Tornado Alley, after all.

Funding and safety aside, NBAF had the backing of an influential congressman from Kansas, as well as others who saw the facility as an anchor for the area’s animal health corridor and for the regional economy.

Kansas won the project in 2009 after a fierce nationwide competition against five other locations, Harvest Public Media reported. It didn’t take long for one of the losing competitors, a Texas consortium, to sue Homeland Security, claiming the decision was political and ignored the risk of those tornadoes.

The suit was later dismissed by a federal judge, but there’s no question Kansas had a man in its corner. Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts had been shepherding NBAF toward the state ever since DHS was created in the wake of Sept. 11, and on through 2004, when then-President George W. Bush issued a directive about needing to protect against a terrorist attack on the nation’s food supply.

“All you do is put a handkerchief under the nose of a diseased animal in Afghanistan, put it in a Ziploc bag, come to the U.S. and drop it in a feed yard in Dodge City. Bingo! You’ve got a problem that could endanger our entire livestock herd,” Roberts said in a 2006 interview with KCUR.

Even now, Roberts, who has chaired both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, said the threat remains as urgent as ever, even if al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have all but disappeared from the headlines.

“It’s got super bipartisan support,” said Roberts, who noted that his recent decision to retire after his term is up in 2020 won’t affect the project or its funding. “And even though we’re not hearing anything about terrorism, it’s still front and center of our security concerns.”

Those security concerns were top-of-mind after a 2010 congressionally mandated review of the risk assessment stunned local and scientific communities.

Ronald Atlas chaired the National Academy of Sciences committee tasked with that work. He said at the time that there was a 70% chance over 50 years that foot-and-mouth disease would escape from NBAF. He estimated that would cause ”$9 (billion) to $50 billion” worth of damage.

In response, DHS fortified the concrete walls and steel barriers in its plan. That, plus other extra measures, drove up the original price to more than $1 billion, but reduced to less than 1 percent the risk of a disease getting out and infecting either humans or the 6 million head of cattle in the state of Kansas.

An updated 2012 report, which cited the unavoidable risk of a release due to simple human error (e.g. a microbe escaping on the sole of a researcher’s shoe), was still criticized by the National Academies of Sciences as politically biased and methodologically flawed.

But financially, and from a federal standpoint, NBAF was a go. Kansas even kicked in more than $300 million, thanks to Sam Brownback, who was an early supporter when he was in the U.S. Senate and later as governor.

There’s always a question of what a given White House occupant prioritizes. In perhaps another sign the government is worrying less about what was once considered a major threat, future funding for the lab won’t be Homeland Security’s problem.

The Trump administration decided to move oversight of NBAF to the U.S. Department of Agriculture once construction is complete; the proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget eliminated DHS’ ongoing operational funds for NBAF and added them to the budget of USDA.

Former Kansas Gov. John Carlin, an NBAF supporter from the start, worried that moving control to the USDA could jeopardize future funding.

“Crop insurance, food stamps always get the focus,” Carlin said. “And whether the operating money for NBAF would be a high enough priority that would always be funded, that remains to be seen.”

In addition, scientists who oversee regulation of biocontainment labs say federal commissioning, which involves an external review of processes and procedures before a biocontainment lab can be certified as secure, typically leads to cost overruns. But K-State veterinarian Marty Vanier, the government’s contracted liaison between NBAF and the Manhattan community, brushed off those worries.

“We’ve got a team, not only the design team but also folks that are part of the program office in the project who’ve been thinking about those kinds of details and working on those details for years,” she said in the lobby of the Kansas State University Foundation, just around the corner from NBAF site.

When pressed, she added that “we’re not planning” cost overruns.

Biocontainment labs of NBAF’s size and importance are astronomically expensive to maintain once in operation. Already, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Congress for $400 million to replace a 14-year-old facility where scientists study Ebola and emerging flu strains. It was supposed to last 50 years.

″(NBAF) is going to get built,” said former USDA chief scientist Brad Fenwick, who helped define the United States’ biosafety response to Sept. 11. “Now the question is just how costly is it to certify to maintain and the research to be conducted in it, (is it) actually a priority?”

“Would it be our first choice as opposed to doing other types of research that (might be more) important to agriculture?”

In 2001, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease rapidly spread through the United Kingdom. The highly infectious disease causes cattle, pigs, goats and sheep to get high fevers and painful blisters in their mouths and on their feet. It’s often fatal.

UK officials had to take drastic measures. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Canceled. Rugby matches? Canceled. Transportation of livestock? Cut off. More than 6 million animals had to be slaughtered, too.

All told, the outbreak lasted more than six months and cost the UK economy between $10 billion and $15 billion.

Researchers in the United States point to that outbreak as a reminder of how devastating an animal disease can be. It’s also partly why some experts argued for, and continue to support, NBAF. When it’s open, it will dramatically increase the number of state-of-the-art labs available to researchers and enhance their ability to develop detection tools and vaccines for deadly diseases such as foot-and-mouth, African swine fever and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a federal research lab on an island off the coast of New York state, is the only place in the United States where scientists are allowed to research live foot-and-mouth disease viruses. Their main mission: prevent it from coming to the U.S. by controlling and checking trade, and if that happens, quickly stop it from spreading.

“With current trade and illegal movement of animals, or even people, around the world, the probabilities of foot-and mouth disease entering a free country have increased,” said Luis Rodriguez, Plum Island’s director of foreign animal disease research. “And will probably continue to increase over time.”

But it’s an aging facility, open since 1954, and will be replaced by NBAF, with pretty much everyone from New York relocating to Manhattan. NBAF is the new Plum Island, and then some.

It’s a decision that didn’t make much sense to Nancy Connell, the senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who’s supervised high-level security labs for 25 years at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

She has been a part of the review process overseeing certification of biocontainment labs around the U.S., and was part of the expert committee that evaluated NBAF ahead of construction.

“I remember being disappointed that they couldn’t figure out a way to rebuild Plum (Island) and keep this kind of work ... off the mainland,” she said. “Why, if so much money was going to be spent on a new laboratory, why that money couldn’t be spent on upgrading Plum?”

What really worried her was NBAF’s actual location, right in the middle of the mainland, in a state where, as one Kansas rancher described it, cattle outnumber people 2 to 1.

It’s a valid concern, especially because Plum Island hasn’t had a perfect record of containing foot-and-mouth disease. Since 1978, there have been three incidents of it spreading to animals and places it wasn’t supposed to. Two of those were in 2004, and in both instances, animals inside of the secure biocontainment area were found to be infected with the disease. It illustrates how easily it can spread because of human error.

The U.S. mainland already has more than 1,000 biosafety level-3 research labs (BSL-3) used to study dangerous diseases, including 14 at K-State’s Biosecurity Research Institute. BSL-3 labs are some of the most secure around, specifically designed to contain the potentially deadly diseases and viruses.


To get inside, a researcher must start in a small locker room, where street clothes are removed and replaced with scrubs. A researcher then must put on a disposable gown and two sets of gloves before moving to the next room. Here, if required, the researcher gets into either a full-body hazardous-materials suit or a mask with a respirator that blows air down and over the face.

Only then can a researcher enter the lab, where air flows in from the outside to ensure any airborne diseases inside the lab stay there.

“We all live here, too, and we care probably more than anybody else about this stuff getting out,” Biosecurity Research Institute officer Julie Johnson said. “Because we’re more likely to be directly exposed if something bad happens.”

The BRI was completed in 2008 and its scientists work on diseases such as African swine fever and Rift Valley fever — two infectious diseases on NBAF’s priority list. But the BRI and other facilities can’t develop and test potential vaccines on dozens of animals at a time.

“We can do a lot of the research but not at that sort of scale,” BRI Director Stephen Higgs said. “Especially with foot-and-mouth disease, which, again, is very complicated. There are multiple different types, and you need that capacity.”

Of the thousands of BSL-3 labs in the U.S., most are only capable of studying small animals, such as mice and bats. That’s true of the BRI, too, where only five labs are capable of handling large animals like cattle or swine. But NBAF’s massive scale will provide space for 46 labs big enough for that type of livestock.

NBAF also will have the holy grail of livestock research labs: BSL-4. Only Canada, Australia and Germany have them. BSL-4 labs are where scientists can study highly contagious, airborne, zoonotic diseases — diseases that can pass between humans and animals — that have no known vaccination or treatment. In starker terms, they’re killers.

Currently, coordinating with the other BSL-4 labs can take months, even years, according to Jurgen Richt, a K-State researcher who specializes in zoonotic diseases.

“So if we have an emergency, we have to ask other countries to help us to work in these environments,” he said. “I don’t think this is feasible.”

Plus, most researchers say emerging diseases that’ll kill humans, like MERS or Nipah (which is transmitted through infected bats or pigs, or through another infected person), have origins in large animals. That’s why it’s critical to have BSL-4 labs in the U.S.

“You just can’t study pigs under the proper setting anywhere in the United States in any laboratory,” said Washington State University professor Terry McElwain, who led the 2012 study by the National Academies of Sciences looking at potential alternatives to NBAF. “It has to be very specific conditions.”

The bottom line: Plum Island and other research facilities across the U.S. are inadequate when faced with the increasing threat of a severe disease outbreak, such as foot-and-mouth disease or African swine fever, which over the last several months in China has led to the culling of almost 1 million pigs.

″(Foot-and-mouth) still remains one of the biggest threats to animal agriculture in the United States,” McElwain said. “And it’s not the only one.”

Drivers sometimes slow down to gawk at the massive biocontainment lab rising up at Denison and Kimball streets in Manhattan. The towering cranes and battalion of trucks cut an impressive silhouette on the hill. It’s safe to say many in this college community of 53,000 are excited by NBAF’s promise of prestige and jobs, an estimated 2,600-plus in the lab’s first 25 years.

But looming in others’ minds is fear that one of the contagious or deadly pathogens could escape — say on a football Saturday in the fall, when tens of thousands of people pack nearby Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Even after all of these years of planning and construction, critics say that health officials, law enforcement and government officials aren’t as prepared as they should be.

For example, once NBAF opens, only one infectious disease doctor will visit Manhattan’s Ascension Via Christie hospital once a week from Wichita, about two and a half hours away. Ascension Via Christie is the city’s main hospital, and has just 12 isolation rooms to hold patients who are exposed to an infectious disease.

The rooms, outfitted with specialized air filters to protect pathogenic microbes from escaping, are for “anybody with a contaminant that is airborne,” said Carolyn Koehn, the hospital’s regional director of safety and emergency response. “Right now, our primary use would be if we had a patient come in” with tuberculosis.

And NBAF researchers will study far more exotic — and toxic — diseases than TB.

Carrying a 4-inch-thick binder of emergency response strategies, Koehn said she isn’t worried. Long before Kansas was awarded NBAF, the hospital had been rehearsing coordinated exercises with local and state emergency responders.

“I have a lot of confidence in our emergency operations plan,” she said. “If we’re able to respond well to an infectious disease outbreak, we’d be able to respond very well to something at NBAF.”

An escaped virus won’t just be the hospital’s problem. Another of the first responders is likely to be the Riley County Police Department.

Chief Dennis P. Butler said his department has the highest emergency response certification of any law enforcement agency in the state, as well as having a detective on staff who is a liaison to Homeland Security and a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Butler said he’s been thoroughly briefed on NBAF, and after an exhaustive tour that he can’t talk much about because of security restrictions, he’s confident that the facility is secure.

“I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “The closest thing I can (compare) this facility to was when I took a tour of a nuclear power plant.”

Just behind NBAF, there’s a wheat-colored building that houses the Kansas Department of Agriculture. That’s intentional: As part of the preparation for NBAF, Brownback moved the agency from the capital city of Topeka to Manhattan.

Justin Smith, the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s chief veterinarian, said having NBAF across the street is a plus.

″(It) brings in a tremendous intellectual knowledge right out our back door as well as allowing us our response time. We’re gonna be able to walk across the parking lot and hand them samples rather than put them on a plane and ship them to Plum Island, New York,” Smith said.

The state’s ag department also takes part in statewide simulations of how to respond to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, even involving cowboys and feed-truck drivers.

It’s important not to be alarmist, said Dr. Ali Kahn, who helped establish the bioterrorism program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999. Still, he said, city and state officials need to make sure communities know the protocol in the event of a disease release.

“Have you made sure the individuals in the community understand what the risks are, what the pathogens are and what they should worry about if they get sick?” he said. ”(Have you) had a good set of conversations with physicians and health care practitioners so you have early signals if something does happen?”

“If (NBAF officials) haven’t, then that’s not a good practice,” he added.

There’s been a small but vocal group of opponents asking the same questions as Kahn ever since the government awarded NBAF to Kansas. This loose coalition of researchers, citizens and ranchers has dwindled in an almost inverse pattern to the tangible lab.

Biologist Bill Dorsett and entomologist Sylvia Beeman were among the most active of the opposition coalition but are now resigned to living in NBAF’s shadow. Beeman wondered whether she could have had an impact if she’d only worked harder.

Dorsett believed they never had a chance, not against the twin juggernauts of government and the livestock industry: “We were pebbles in the path. We weren’t speed bumps.”

Donn Teske’s deeply ingrained in that livestock industry, raising 100 Angus cattle in Pottawatomie County, about 35 miles from Manhattan. He’s also the vice president of the National Farmers Union, an organization that pushes for environment-focused policies and often holds opposing positions to the American Farm Bureau’s more conservative views.

Teske has insisted for years that building a lab to study foot-and-mouth disease in a state where cattle vastly outnumber people is a head-scratcher.

“It just shouldn’t have been built here,” he said. “I knew it would be built with utmost care, but I’m still not convinced there won’t be any escapes. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I suspect it will.”

But as Teske’s cattle huddled against the bitter February wind, he admitted NBAF is benefiting his family in one way — at least before it opens. His 27-year-old son is helping build it.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
293 posts, read 234,305 times
Reputation: 357
Pompeo released an internal cable from 2018 detailing the concerns of U.S. Embassy officials in China about a lack of adequately trained personnel at a virology lab in Wuhan, the city that later became the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...mments-wrapper


Pompeo has set the U.S. up for China to make derogatory remarks on KANSAS' National Bio- & Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) a BSL-4 lab designed to study herds of cattle/pigs . . . given zoonotic diseases with no known remedies/vacines/treatment for 50 years. Kansas State University, site of NBAF, was secretly sanctioned by the Dept of Homeland Security for 3/4 of a year. It's common knowledge that KSU's Biosecurity Research Institute, aka Sen. Pat Roberts Hall, had employees who did NOT have the basic lab skills of aseptic techniques necessary for BSL-3 work.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...olab/31075709/
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