CDC mission to Guinea

Emmanuel Freudenthal filed this request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States of America .
Tracking #

18-01118-FOIA

Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

1 - All of the photos taken during the CDC mission to transport Ebola samples from Guinea to Atlanta around September 2017. This includes photos by employees as part of their work on this official mission, or photos by third party contractors.

2 - Any contracts or agreements with Phoenix Air to supply their services for the CDC mission to transport Ebola samples from Guinea to Atlanta around September 2017

3 - Any Chain of Custody documents signed for the shipping of any samples from Guinea to the USA between 01/01/17 and 01/11/17. I believe that these documents were signed by Dr Pierre Rollin and other Atlanta CDC staff, who I'm sure will have a copy.

4 - Any documents with information linked to blood samples that were transported from Conakry (Guinea) to Atlanta from 01/01/17 to 01/11/17 (e.g. the name of the patient, their origin, their gender, their clinical signs etc). I understand that the private information of patients cannot be disclosed so please feel free to blacken that from any documents that contain lists. In case there are many documents that pertain to single individuals with the sample templates, then please provide one of each of the types of documents as a template.

This request should be properly classified as a media request. I am a freelance investigative reporter covering covering East and Central Africa, with a particular focus on business, corruption, natural resources, land and social issues.

I have a strong likelihood of publishing news articles based on information released in response to this request. I have previously been published in Le Monde Afrique, IRIN News, Sydney Morning Herald, African Arguments and others. If you have questions about my media classification, please let me know and I'm happy to address them.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filed electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not, and I would like text-searchable documents.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Best regards,
Emmanuel Freudenthal

From:

September 24, 2018
Request Number: 18-01118-FOIA
Dear Mr.  Freudenthal:
This is regarding your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of September 19, 2018, for 1 - All of the photos taken during the CDC mission to transport Ebola samples from Guinea to Atlanta around September 2017. This includes photos by employees as part of their work on this official mission, or photos by third party contractors.2 - Any contracts or agreements with Phoenix Air to supply their services for the CDC mission to transport Ebola samples from Guinea to Atlanta around September 20173 - Any Chain of Custody documents signed for the shipping of any samples from Guinea to the USA between 01/01/17 and 01/11/17. I believe that these documents were signed by Dr Pierre Rollin and other Atlanta CDC staff, who I'm sure will have a copy.4 - Any documents with information linked to blood samples that were transported from Conakry (Guinea) to Atlanta from 01/01/17 to 01/11/17 (e.g. the name of the patient, their origin, their gender, their clinical signs etc).
Please see the attached letter.
Sincerely,
CDC/ATSDR FOIA Office
770-488-6399

From:

Dear Emmanuel Freudenthal,
The status of your FOIA request #18-01118-FOIA has been updated to the following status 'On Hold - Need Info/Clarification'. To log into the CDC FOIA Public Access Link click on the Application URL below.
https://foia.cdc.gov/palMain.aspx
Sincerely,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

Dear Mr Andho,

Thanks for your letter (attached for reference).

1 - Regarding item #2, I am not asking for any patient information. This contract pertains to blood samples that were carried from Guinea to Atlanta around September 2017 - not patients. This was for research purposes and I doubt the patients themselves were aware. Moreover, I am not asking for information on the blood samples themselves but on the contract with Phoenix Air to transport them.
Therefore, there is no need to provide a form for release of protected health information.

I do not know the contract number because this is not public. If you have a database with a list of contracts, I'd be grateful if you could send that to me.

But I think the details that I have provided have been sufficiently specific for you to find the contract. Pierre Rollin who was involved in the organisation of this mission will be able to point you towards the contract.
You can see more information about a similar contract with Phoenix air here: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/1/cdc-spends-5-million-to-use-ebola-jet-it-helped-de/
I am not sure if this is the same contract or not as the one I am requesting.

2 - For items #2 and #4, I am referring to Ebola samples.

3 - For item #4, again I do not request information regarding specific patients. The samples transported from Guinea to the US came had clinical information linked to them (such as the location where they were extracted). I just want to have a document that shows the structure of that information (i.e. without specific details on patients).

Thanks in advance.

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

PS: the previous contracts with Phoenix air were disclosed in FOIA #15-00185-FOIA. These were contracts to transport patients. So I really do not understand your concerns with the contracts that I am requesting for which patients were not transported.

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

Dear Mr Andho,

i hope this finds you well.

Could you confirm that you've received my reply to your questions and will process the request?

I believe that the 20 days will be over next week. please don't hesitate to let me know if you need further information.

Best,
Emmanuel

From:

November 14, 2018
Request Number: 18-01118-FOIA
Dear Mr. Freudenthal:
This is regarding your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of September 19, 2018. We have received your recent email communication regarding this request and will provide you with our final response as soon as possible.
Sincerely, CDC/ATSDR FOIA Office
770-488-6399

From:

November 28, 2018
Request Number: 18-01118-FOIA
Dear Mr. Freudenthal:
This is regarding your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of September 19, 2018. Please see the attached letter.
Sincerely,
CDC/ATSDR FOIA Office
770-488-6399

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

Thanks, I am looking forward to your reply as soon as possible.

Best,
Emmanuel

From: Emmanuel Freudenthal

Dear Mr Andoh,

Thanks for the reply.

For #2, could you tell me where I can look for this contract number?
I don't think this is something that I can find out without access to a CDC contract database. But I'm sure that you have an internal database with the contracts that you could search. If CDC can't search its own database, please let me know what legal provision or jurisprudence backs this up.

For #3, I find it impossible to believe that Pierre Rollin, a very experienced and high-ranking staff, would sign such an important document without taking a copy of it. It's a one page document and I am sure that he at least took a photo of it. The scientist from Guinea who accompanied the samples had a photo of this.

For #4, this does not duplicate with #2 of #18-00091, which was "A copy of all the Select Agents Program APHIS/CDC forms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 that
were submitted to CDC pertaining to Ebola." I am asking for the data associated with the samples. Sometimes this is blood pressure, temperature, names etc of patients that provided the blood samples (please note i'm asking for a template, not the actual data). This has nothing to do with the forms above.

Best,
Emmanuel

From:

Dear Mr. Fruedenthal:
This is in response to your email of December 21, 2018.
Program staff are unable to search for contracts without the contract or funding opportunity number as that is how those records are maintained. Further, the FOIA does not require agencies to conduct research in order to respond to FOIA requests and therefore our agency is not responsible for identifying contract numbers on behalf of requesters.
Program staff closely examined all items of your request as submitted and clarified by you, and our final response letter reflects their response as the subject matter experts.
Sincerely,
CDC FOIA Office

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