Bush Calls Anthrax is "Second Wave" of Terror

ByABC News
November 3, 2001, 10:04 PM

Nov. 3 -- Calling the recent anthrax cases a "second wave of terrorist attacks," President Bush devoted his weekly radio address to the topic and tried to reassure, as well as caution Americans.


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"More than 30 billion pieces of mail have moved through the postal service since Sept. 11," Bush said. "So, we believe the odds of any one piece of mail being tainted are very low. But still, people should take appropriate precautions. Look carefully at your mail before opening it. Tell your doctor if you believe you may have been exposed to anthrax."

He also offered assurances that the terrorists "will be caught." But he reiterated what the FBI Director Robert Mueller said at a White House news conference on Friday, that investigators still don't know if the anthrax letters were sent in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks or not.

"We do not yet know who sent the anthrax, whether it was the same terrorists who committed the attacks on Sept. 11, or whether it was the other international or domestic terrorists," Bush said. "We do know that anyone who would try to infect other people with anthrax is guilty of an act of terror."

VA Medical Center Mailroom Tests Positive

Late today, it was revelaed that the mailroom of the Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Washington D.C. has tested positive for a trace amount of anthrax. The mailroom receives mail from the Brentwood Postal Facility, where two postal workers who died of inhalation anthrax worked.

An administrator at the hospital says five mailroom employees at the VA Medical Center have been receiving antibiotics since Oct. 25, prior to the discovery. No workers have tested positive for antrhax. Spokesman Phil Budahn said that the mailroom is not contiguous with any patient areas and airflow is not recirculated throughout the building.