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Monday, March 15, 2010

Beth Willis to be My Guest on 3-18-2010

George Wenschhof

I am pleased to announce Beth Willis will be my guest on
Air-it-Out with George Wenschhof on Thursday March 18 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET.

We will be talking about the recently released safety study from the National Academy of Sciences. This safety study pertains to the huge expansion of the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) High Containment facilities located at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

Ft. Detrick, Maryland is located in Frederick, Maryland, a city with a population of 60,000 which is the second largest city in the state.

It was 1969, when many of us who grew up in Frederick, found out that biological warfare study and development had been occurring at Ft. Detrick for many years. 1969 was the year President Richard Nixon announced the end of offensive research of biological agents.

Since that time, the Fort became a Cancer Research Facility and an Army research facility for infectious disease. Studies have continued on deadly pathogens such as anthrax.

It was announced back in 2003, that the national headquarters for the new post-2001 U.S. Bio-Defense program would be built at Fort Detrick.
Plans were underway to expand research being conducted at the Fort with the construction of 1.3 million square feet of new high containment facilities. The Army labs would be joined by Homeland Security, NIH, Agriculture and others to create a massive biodefense research campus.

Coupled with the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) of 2005, this meant a huge expansion of Ft. Detrick with the likely potential the added employees would result in an economic boost to the community.

Ms. Willis, a Fredrick County, Maryland resident for over 35 years was struck by the enormity of this expansion within Ft. Detrick which is located in a large population center.

She co-founded Frederick Citizens for Bio-lab Safety and has since worked with local politicians and U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), culminating in the safety study released March 4, 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences.

Her background includes working with the Department of Energy around large federal science projects and the DOE laboratories.

If you have a question for Ms. Willis you would like me to consider asking, please write it in the "comment" area at the end of this article.


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