"There may be some possible link," the president said. "[Bin Laden] and his spokesmen are openly bragging about how they hope to inflict more pain on our country so … we're making sure that we're connecting any dots that we have to [to] find out who's doing this."
Since Friday, reports of possible anthrax exposure or suspicious mail have cropped up in a number of places around the country — including at media outlets such as The New York Times, CBS News' Washington bureau and Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City, Calif. — but they were found to be false alarms.
Giuliani stressed today that only one person in the city of 8 million is known to have actually contracted anthrax.
"When you consider the number of people … and the amount of mail that comes into the city … we are dealing with only one situation so far," he said at a news conference this afternoon.
Giuliani said that between 7 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. today, authorities had responded to 82 calls regarding suspicious packages, retrieving two dozen packages.
"So far, none of them appear to be positive for anything dangerous — and some of them have the scent of baby powder," he said.
Federal authorities, however, continued to urge the public to remain vigilant and err on the side of caution.
"The key thing for the American people is to be cautious about letters that come from somebody you may not know, unmarked letters, letters that … that look suspicious, and give those letters and packages to local law authorities," the president said today.
Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Claude Allen told a congressional panel today that part of the $1.5 billion in new funding the department has requested would be used to dramatically increase the stockpile of antibiotics used to treat anthrax.
The current government supply could treat 2 million people over a 60-day period. HHS wants to boost the capacity to be able to treat 12 million people over the same period.