Disease detectives gathered at CDC event—a COVID outbreak erupted

Some attendees reportedly did not mask, distance, or take other precautions.
Huge facade for CDC headquarters against a beautiful sky.

Disease detectives with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on the case of a new COVID-19 outbreak—the one at their very own conference, which has sickened around 35 attendees as of Tuesday.

Last week, the CDC hosted the 2023 Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference in Atlanta, the first time the conference has been held in person since 2019. The annual event, which dates back seven decades, was fully virtual last year and was canceled entirely in 2020 and 2021 while EIS officers were immersed in the pandemic response.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone and especially for our public health workforce. … We are thankful you are back with us at the EIS conference,” EIS leaders wrote in the preface of this year’s conference agenda, celebrating the return of the in-person gathering.

But signs of trouble turned up quickly. Several attendees reportedly tested positive during the conference, which spanned Monday, April 24 to Thursday, April 27, and drew about 2,000 participants. Some told The Washington Post that moderators at the conference warned several times about positive cases. CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told Ars in an email that EIS leaders noted the cases during the closing session of the conference. The conference leaders also canceled an in-person training, emailed all officers with current CDC guidance, and offered to extend the hotel stays of sick attendees who needed to isolate, according to the Post. (See link for article)



The irony here is palpable.

The CDC, NIH, HHS, and FDA need to be disbanded forever.

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