The fracas centers on allegations by CDC's Robert Lanciotti, chief of the Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory activity for mosquito-spread viruses in Fort Collins, Colorado. He alleges that the agency's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) discounted his research in April and created "a public health threat" by relying on a less dependable human test for the Zika virus.
As first reported by the The Washington Post, Carolyn Lerner, who heads the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, wrote President Barack Obama a detailed letter yesterday about the allegations. She also released several related reports, including an investigation conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Lanciotti's response. Lerner became involved after Lanciotti was demoted for his actions in May and filed a whistleblower suit. Her office "secured an agreement" with CDC to reinstate him as head of his lab.