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Here's a great tip for all reporters looking for a completely new - and extremely important - angle on the situation in New Orleans. As far as I can tell, no one has yet mentioned the biological research labs located in and around NOLA. For example, in nearby Covington, Tulane University runs the Tulane National Primate Research Center, a cluster of Level-3 biological labs containing around 5,000 monkeys, most of which are housed in outdoor cages. According to an article in Tulane University Magazine, "The primary areas of focus today at the Tulane National Primate Research Center are infectious diseases, including biodefense related work, gene therapy, reproductive biology and neuroscience. The Tulane primate center is playing a key role in the federal strategic plan for biodefense research."
According to the Sunshine Project, which digs up grant proposals and other primary documents from the US biowarfare effort, "Tulane scientists are working with anthrax, plague, and other biological weapons agents."
And take a look at this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a “Select Agents Program” for any facility that handles highly dangerous germs, including Ebola, Marburg, ricin, avian flu, and anthrax. At the top of their website is the following notice:
Announcement for Entities Impacted by Hurricane Katrina
Entities that are registered with the Select Agent Program who have been impacted by Hurricane Katrina may contact the CDC Select Agent Program for guidance on actions that should be taken to transfer Select Agents to another registered entity or report the theft, loss, or release of select agents that might have occurred due to storm damage. The CDC Select Agent Program will expedite any special requests from registered entities as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Contact the Program via email at email@example.com, phone at 404-498-2255, fax at 404-498-2265, or call your designated CDC representative.