Executives At Emergent BioSolutions Grilled At Capitol Hill Hearing

Emergent BioSolutions' executives were grilled in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday. Lawmakers wanted answers on what went wrong at the Baltimore facility when products that would have been used for millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine became contaminated.

Video Transcript

- The top executives of emerging bio solutions now on the hot seat on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers demanded answers on what went wrong at the Baltimore facility when products that would have been used for millions of doses of the J&J vaccine became contaminated. Ava-Joye Burnett has more on the apologies from these executives.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Emergent solutions executives face congressional lawmakers Wednesday after a mix up at their Baltimore plant ruined 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine.

MR. ROBERT G.KRAMER: I can assure you that no one is more disappointed than we are, as CEO I take full responsibility.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Word of the contamination of a plant came in March. Johnson and Johnson had to step in and take over, and the FPA initiated an investigation.

MR. FUAD EL-HIBRI: The board's top priority is ensuring that management takes all corrective actions.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The company has had previous violations of poorly trained workers and issues with cleanliness.

REP. MAXINE WATERS: Why would we continue to deal with a company that has violated the contract in so many ways.

- My teenage son's room gives your facility a run for its money, in terms of its cleanliness.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Democratic lawmakers also wanted to know why one employee got a hefty bonus, while the company failed to deliver a single dose.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: We definitely believe in bonuses for success, but we don't believe in bonuses for failure.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: The ruined in doses shocked the world, as countries were in a rush to get vaccines. The CEO said their quality control measures worked.

REP. STEVE SCALISE: Did any of the contaminated doses get out of your facility, were any put in the arms of people?

MR. ROBERT G.KRAMER: The production lab was quarantined, set aside, and never left our facility.

AVA-JOYE BURNETT: Both executives have committed to more hearings as the investigation continues. Ava-Joye Burnett for WJZ.