|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|CPC and State Organs|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Thursday, October 18, 2001, updated at 16:52(GMT+8)|
29 at U.S. Congress Confirmed Positive for Anthrax ExposureTwenty-nine people at U.S. Congress have tested positive for anthrax exposure, including many aides of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and two Capitol police officers, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Health Secretary Tommy Thompson said Wednesday.
The news has promoted Congressional leaders to shut down the Senate and the House of Representatives unprecedentedly to search for anthrax spores.
At a news conference in the Capitol basement, Hastert said that the House will shut down from Thursday through Monday.
He said that lawmakers would leave Congress later Wednesday and the buildings on one side of the Capitol complex would be submitted to a "methodical sweeping" to check for evidence of anthrax.
Hastert announced that anthrax also had been found in the Senate's mailroom and had gotten "into the ventilation system."
There was no immediate announcement from Senate leaders as they grappled with the news that 29 people have tested positive for anthrax exposure after being in the vicinity where an anthrax- laced letter to Daschle's office was opened. The tests found that the letter contained a highly refined form of anthrax and suggested that it was produced by experts.
Democratic House leader Dick Gephardt said that it is a " prudent" and "cautious" step to shut down Congress.
In Florida and New York, four people are known to have contracted anthrax and nine others have tested positive for the anthrax bacteria, including one who died earlier this month.
The anthrax scare came five weeks after the worst terrorist strikes in U.S. history killed more than 5,000 in New York and Washington.
At a hearing before a Senate committee, Secretary Tommy Thompson said that "there is no question this is a very serious attempt at anthrax poisoning."
"Bioterrorism has never hit America like it has in the last couple of weeks and what we're trying to do is we're trying to calm down the American public, tell them we can respond to a bioterrorism attack," he told CBS' "The Early Show" earlier Wednesday.
"There's no question that right now we are in a period of the unknown," but he assured that the government was working to strengthen local and state public health systems, and to stockpile more antibiotics. "We are prepared to respond and we have been able to respond."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is stepping up its investigation into the anthrax cases in the country. Tests were under way to determine whether the anthrax found in New York and in Florida were from the same strain, FBI officials said.
"While organized terrorism has not been ruled out, so far we have found no direct link to organized terrorism," FBI Director Robert Mueller said Tuesday.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||