The North Carolina Consortium’s high-dollar public relations firm has been busy taking out ads and writing letters for Ph.D.s to sign. But, there are some other Ph.D.s working for Congress’ investigative arm — the Government Accountability Office — who report that the Department of Homeland Security does not have proof that foot-and-mouth research can be done safely on the U.S. mainland.

The GAO’s experts call the comparison between the Center for Disease Control and the NBAF to be invalid since the CDC’s research is done with infected material contained in a small biological cabinet as opposed to large, living, mobile, infected animals in a laboratory.

The CDC’s redundant safety systems all failed due to a lightning strike, but by the grace of God it happened at night when all deadly pathogens were locked up. The U.S. House’s Energy and Commerce Committee revealed in testimony that DHS relied on a flawed study to justify the NBAF. That committee also cited 103 accidents in BSL-3 and-4 labs. Those who insist such facilities are infallible are similar to those who said the Titanic was a ship “that God himself couldn’t sink.”

The NBAF is not a cash cow. The design contracts have already gone to an out-of-state firm as probably will the construction contracts. And the non-scientific jobs will go to a private contractor from another state. Therefore, practically all the profits will be spent outside of North Carolina.

Also, is there not a conflict of interest when the sponsor of the $25 million NBAF fund bill has a brother who is an executive of one of the consortium’s special interest groups that stand to gain from the NBAF?

Terry Turner

Butner, North Carolina

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