Category: Archive

Anthrax in Kennedy office

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Anthrax spores have been found in the Senate offices of Sens. Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd and Patrick Leahy, according to sources at Congress in Washington D.C.

The Kennedy and Dodd offices have been sealed pending further investigation, but they are located in the Russell Senate office building, near the Dirksen Senate office building, where the anthrax-laced letter addressed to Leahy was found on Saturday.

The small traces of anthrax were found Tuesday in the mailrooms of Kennedy and Dodd’s offices. Investigators believe that while the Leahy letter was a clear case of a second anthrax-laced letter address in the congressional mail system, the latest finds are cross-contamination. The first letter was sent to Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, Dem., N.D.

“There’s been concern all along that there was a possibility that we, in fact, had a second letter somewhere in the congressional mail system. That letter has now been found,” said U.S. Capitol Police spokesman Lieutenant Dan Nichols on Saturday.

Neither Kennedy nor Dodds or their staffers have been prescribed medication because the amount of anthrax found has been negligible.

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In a statement, Kennedy said he would close his office early for the Thanksgiving holiday as a precaution while the mailroom is decontaminated, and expects to reopen Monday. He said the Capitol physician has concluded that the anthrax there “poses no public safety or health risk.”

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