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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 6, 2003
WASHINGTON - The government is likely to be overwhelmed in the event of a bioterrorism attack because of serious shortages in skilled medical and scientific personnel, according to a study by a public service advocacy group. "Perhaps more than any other terrorist threat, bioterrorism will place huge burdens on small pools of medical, scientific and technical expertise," the study concluded. "These organizations are already exhibiting hairline cracks - some would say fractures - that may presage disaster."
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NEWS
By Douglas MacKinnon | December 4, 2009
A critically important bipartisan commission headed up by former senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent recently and ominously warned that, "A recent study from the intelligence community projected that a one-to-two kilogram release of anthrax spores from a crop duster plane could kill more Americans than died in World War II (over 400,000)." As a follow-up to that sobering news, they reported: "Clean-up and other economic costs could exceed $1.8 trillion." As the Paul Reveres of bioterrorism, Messrs.
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NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | October 4, 2001
While Dr. Donald A. Henderson, the man who led the worldwide campaign against smallpox, taped an interview yesterday with the BBC and fielded calls from countless newspapers, Dr. Tara O'Toole testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Reporters, doctors, hospital officials and worried citizens have been calling for days, and the e-mails keep pouring in. Everyone, it seems, is thinking about bioterrorism, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies is a place with answers.
NEWS
August 5, 2008
The Federal Bureau of Investigation owes it to the victims of the fatal anthrax attacks and to all Americans to make public in detail its case against scientist Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide last week after being told he would be charged with murder in the case. The reason is simple enough: The FBI pursued the wrong suspect for years after the mailing of anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress and the media in 2001, and public confidence in the agency's ability to have identified the right suspect is low. In June, the government agreed to pay Steven J. Hatfill $5.8 million in return for his dropping a harassment lawsuit against the Justice Department.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF | August 16, 2003
WASHINGTON - The government has finally nailed Dr. Steven J. Hatfill. The former Army bioterrorism expert and current "person of interest" in the FBI's investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks was convicted yesterday in a District of Columbia traffic court of "walking to create a hazard," an offense that occurred in May when an FBI surveillance truck ran over his foot. The pedestrian ticket will cost Hatfill $5. Bryan Blankenship, the FBI employee behind the wheel of the bureau's black Dodge Durango that day, was not charged in the incident.
NEWS
By Douglas MacKinnon | December 4, 2009
A critically important bipartisan commission headed up by former senators Bob Graham and Jim Talent recently and ominously warned that, "A recent study from the intelligence community projected that a one-to-two kilogram release of anthrax spores from a crop duster plane could kill more Americans than died in World War II (over 400,000)." As a follow-up to that sobering news, they reported: "Clean-up and other economic costs could exceed $1.8 trillion." As the Paul Reveres of bioterrorism, Messrs.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | December 27, 1999
A man clutching an aerosol canister strolls down a street, sneaks off to the side and sprays a colorless mist into the air. Smallpox is on the loose in downtown Baltimore.Fifty people on their lunch hour inhale the virus and become infected, then spread the deadly microbe to hundreds more before anyone figures out what has happened. The sick need to be isolated, but hospitals are overflowing. Baltimore, Washington and, soon, the entire Eastern seaboard are desperate for vaccine, but there's not nearly enough.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | September 5, 2003
The University of Maryland School of Medicine won the largest grant in its history yesterday, $42 million in federal money over five years to lead a coalition of more than 60 scientists at 16 institutions to find better defenses against bioterrorism and emerging diseases. "It's an amazing array of people," said Dr. Myron M. Levine, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Vaccine Development, who will head the venture. "We're very excited." The Baltimore medical school was one of eight institutions chosen by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to create regional "centers of excellence" as part of the federal government's expansion of biodefense in the aftermath of the Sept.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Mary Curtius and Richard Simon and Mary Curtius,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 3, 2004
WASHINGTON - A powdery substance suspected to be the poison ricin was discovered yesterday in a Capitol Hill mailroom near the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, raising new fears of bioterrorism. Several tests found the white powder to be ricin, a potentially deadly toxin derived from castor beans, and additional tests were being conducted. At a late night Capitol Hill news conference, Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said the incident was being investigated as a crime. Frist, a physician who has written about bioterrorism, sought to reassure Capitol Hill staffers that all precautions were being taken.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Waka Tsunoda and Waka Tsunoda,Knight Ridder/Tribune | February 28, 1999
"Vector," by Robin Cook. Putnam. $24.95.Robin Cook has written plenty of scary medical thrillers, but his latest, "Vector," is probably the scariest.That's because it deals with a real and imminent danger to everyone -- biological terrorism.As the novel opens, Yuri Davydov, a disgruntled New York taxi driver, and a couple of hate-filled members of a violent far-right organization are plotting to spray the Big Apple with deadly anthrax bacterium and botulism toxin.Yuri, who had been a technician in a Russian bioweapons factory, manufactures inhalational anthrax in his basement laboratory.
NEWS
By Jeff Zeleny and Jeff Zeleny,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | September 4, 2005
BAKU, Azerbaijan - More than 60 dangerous and deadly bacterial strains that are a legacy of the former Soviet Union's elaborate biological weapons program were transferred last week to the United States from Azerbaijan as part of the two countries' joint fight against the threat of biological terrorism. Copies of the strains, including bacteria that cause plague and anthrax, left Baku aboard a U.S. military aircraft in a mission cloaked in secrecy. The pathogens were scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware by yesterday, officials said, and government scientists will begin their analysis this week in Washington.
NEWS
By Greg Barrett and Greg Barrett,SUN STAFF | June 6, 2005
Fire Lt. Randall Owens keeps one in the locker at his Rockville station and another in the master bathroom of his Frederick County home. His are two of the 7,000 "bio-packs" of anthrax antidotes given to 3,500 Montgomery County firefighters and police officers. First-responders are given two supplies of doxycycline or ciprofloxacin -- antibiotics used to treat anthrax infections --in clear pouches the size of fanny packs, to keep with them at home and work. In a push to control their own fate, Montgomery County, Baltimore City and other jurisdictions around the country are spending federal homeland security grant money to create stockpiles of antidotes that duplicate drugs readily available through the six-year-old Strategic National Stockpile program, which has cost more than $2 billion to assemble.
NEWS
By Greg Barrett and Greg Barrett,SUN STAFF | May 29, 2005
The mayor who decries homeland security grants as "woefully underfunded" spent $23,572 in grant money on embroidered polo shirts, fleece pullovers, Nantucket caps and duffel bags. It can all be justified, said Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, but had he reviewed the spending beforehand he would have vetoed the purchases. "I think we probably could have accomplished the same thing with T-shirts. ... I would certainly vote for that in the future rather than something that would call into question our expenditure of these dollars," said O'Malley, a frequent critic of federal grant formulas that send homeland security money to unlikely terrorist targets, including rural areas.
NEWS
By Robert Little and Robert Little,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | October 12, 2004
The United States has improved its odds of defeating a biological attack from agents such as smallpox or anthrax, a report released today concludes. But scientists and biotechnology specialists still think the nation is woefully ill-equipped to handle a more sophisticated -- and, perhaps, more likely -- terrorist attack using newer bioengineered germs or other unanticipated pathogens, according to the report by the Baltimore-based Center for Biosecurity, a nonprofit organization of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and the Sarnoff Corp.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 27, 2004
The federal government has responded to the threat of bioterrorism with a spending blitz that has already surpassed the annual cost of the Manhattan Project to build the first atom bomb. But as illustrated by a recent mishap in which a Frederick lab inadvertently shipped lethal anthrax across the country, the biodefense push might be creating new hazards even as it seeks to make the country safer. The flood of new money - $14.5 billion spent since 2001 - has drawn scores of new researchers and facilities into the field, creating more possibilities for the release of anthrax and other "select agents," the legal term for pathogens with bioterrorist potential.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | March 11, 2004
In a case that has drawn protests from leading scientists, a prominent plague researcher who touched off a brief bioterrorism scare last year when he reported germ vials missing was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison by a federal judge in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Thomas C. Butler, 62, was acquitted in a three-week trial of lying to the FBI about the missing vials and of most charges alleging that he mishandled plague samples. But he was convicted of 47 criminal counts, including theft, embezzlement and fraud in connection with consulting contracts.
NEWS
August 5, 2008
The Federal Bureau of Investigation owes it to the victims of the fatal anthrax attacks and to all Americans to make public in detail its case against scientist Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide last week after being told he would be charged with murder in the case. The reason is simple enough: The FBI pursued the wrong suspect for years after the mailing of anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress and the media in 2001, and public confidence in the agency's ability to have identified the right suspect is low. In June, the government agreed to pay Steven J. Hatfill $5.8 million in return for his dropping a harassment lawsuit against the Justice Department.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2003
For three decades, Dr. Thomas C. Butler pursued medical science with quiet dedication at Texas Tech University, treating patients, publishing research papers and occasionally flying off to India or East Africa to study diseases. But only this month did he achieve fame. After Butler reported 30 vials containing plague bacteria missing, about 60 local, state and federal law enforcement agents swooped down on the medical school as word of the bioterrorism scare was broadcast worldwide. When the scientist then admitted that he had, in fact, destroyed the samples, he was hauled off to jail in handcuffs, accused of lying initially to the FBI. He has been released on bail, but he has surrendered his passport and is required to stay home on electronic monitoring to await a federal grand jury hearing next month.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Mary Curtius and Richard Simon and Mary Curtius,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 3, 2004
WASHINGTON - A powdery substance suspected to be the poison ricin was discovered yesterday in a Capitol Hill mailroom near the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, raising new fears of bioterrorism. Several tests found the white powder to be ricin, a potentially deadly toxin derived from castor beans, and additional tests were being conducted. At a late night Capitol Hill news conference, Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said the incident was being investigated as a crime. Frist, a physician who has written about bioterrorism, sought to reassure Capitol Hill staffers that all precautions were being taken.
NEWS
By Matt Whittaker and Matt Whittaker,SUN STAFF | November 17, 2003
Smoke filled the Baltimore Metro subway's Johns Hopkins station early yesterday as Marines, area firefighters and groaning, screaming "victims" staged a dress rehearsal for disaster - a bioterror attack. Playing roles designated by cards that hung from their necks, the "victims" were volunteers acting out the horrible symptoms of the suffering that a biological weapon could bring. The smoke was produced by machines. But Baltimore City Fire Department Capt. David Coogan, one of its planners, said that the training exercise under the 600 block of N. Broadway, near Johns Hopkins Hospital, was "very realistic."
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