While some of USAMRIID’s programs have been suspended due to safety issues, their work with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, was not affected.
Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, said: "US Army researchers were critical during the SARS epidemic, the Zika virus and the Ebola outbreak as they helped develop antivirals and vaccines. They've done it before, and they will do it again.”
The institute resumed full operational capability after a recent visit by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which fully restored the Institute’s registration under the Federal Select Program.
In 2019, the CDC suspended USAMRIID’s registration to work with biological select agents and toxins (BSATs) due to safety issues. There was never a risk to employee health, public health or the environment, and no infectious agents were detected outside of containment areas. Because Covid-19 is not classified as a BSAT, USAMRIID’s work on the virus has been allowed to continue.
General James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army, said: "The true heroes in this fight are the medical professionals – people like the scientists and researchers at USAMRIID. They're working on vaccinations, treatments and better ways to conduct tests that will ultimately help the nation defeat the virus."