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At the CDC

I had an interesting but all-too-short visit to the Centers for Disease Control yesterday. As I noted in my previous entry, I was looking forward to it partly because I have so much respect for the CDC -- it seems to me to be consistently competent and resistant to partisanship.

The best part of the visit was when my colleagues and I were given a tour of the CDC's new Emergency Operations Center. As I said afterwards, "It was the first government facility I've ever been in that really felt like something out of the movies." Large projection screens on the walls, flat panel displays and task lighting, continuously updating threat monitors, conference rooms with liquid crystal windows... it was all quite impressive. I didn't see more than 10-15 people while I was there -- thankfully, there are no major public health crises at the moment -- but according to our host, had I visited during the SARS outbreak last year, I would have seen every seat filled.

Sadly, no photos are allowed within the CDC, but there's a press release on the EOC here, and a few photos (none a good overall shot) can be found by going here and searching on "emergency operations".

I asked about the Andromeda Strain facility, with pools of antimicrobial fluids to swim through and an onsite nuke just in case something gets loose, but apparently that doesn't exist. Or so I was told...


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