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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
U.S. Epidemiologist Witness at Canadian Inquiry

March 9, 1995
Toronto Globe and Mail (03/07/95) P. A4

The first witness in the final stage of the $13.5 million judicial inquiry into Canada's blood system will be Dr. Donald Francis, a former epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Francis has been one of the most acerbic critics of governments' slow response to the AIDS epidemic. In his interim report last month, Mr. Justice Horace Krever, who is heading the commission of inquiry, warned that the tainted blood tragedy could be repeated with a new contaminating agent. He said that changes are necessary to "minimize the likelihood of such a calamity." The final report, to be completed by the end of the year, will examine the decisions that led to the infection of more than 1,002 Canadian hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients with HIV during the early 1980s. The commission's final report will also recommend a complete revamping of the blood system.