Preliminary tests indicate that a New York City resident has contracted inhalation anthrax. The unidentified hospital stockroom employee is said to be in very serious condition.
Yesterday, a New Jersey woman diagnosed with cutaneous anthrax became the nation's 15th confirmed anthrax victim. The Trenton-area woman confirmed to have skin anthrax is the first nonpostal worker in New Jersey to come down with the disease. Officials say the connection may be that the business she works at receives mail from the same Trenton, New Jersey, postal station where several anthrax-containing letters were originally sent.
In Washington there were no new cases of anthrax on Monday, but there were more discoveries of contamination.
As CBS's John Roberts reported on the CBS Evening News, a new security alert came as President Bush tried to reassure the public that the government has a firm grip on terror threats, especially anthrax. On that score, tests found anthrax spores in more government buildings.
Supreme Court justices were forced into temporary quarters today--the first time in 66 years--after their mailroom tested positive for anthrax.
Traces were also found today at the State Department and a building that houses both the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and Voice of America.
"We think, probably in most cases, it's mail that was processed at the same time as the Daschle letter, that was cross-contaminated by it," says Dr. Pat Meehan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].
But investigators are aggressively searching for what they believe is at least one more anthrax-filled letter that went through the infamous Brentwood sorting station--spreading spores and anxiety. That concern is reflected in a new CBS News/New York Times poll that found the majority of Americans (53%) feel the government has not done enough to prepare for a biological attack and that the government is not telling people what they need to know about anthrax.
One woman says, "Between the CDC and the health department . . . everybody is just contradicting themselves."
After a week of conflicting statements, the administration is now attempting to speak with one voice and admitted today that they need to do better.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson says, "We know we have to get stronger . . . And we're working with Congress to ramp up as quickly as possible."
Chairing the first meeting of his new Homeland Security Council today, President Bush again promised the government is doing all it can to protect Americans, but added that with war comes uncertainty.
"The country understands that we've entered into a new period in our history," says Bush. "Lives are simply not going to be as normal as they were in the past."
The president also announced today the creation of a new task force to track foreign terrorists. Its mission: to identify and plug holein the immigration system that allowed terrorists into this country and to identify terrorists already here and get them out.
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