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Anthrax Case Puzzles Investigators - No Other Cases Found, Source Remains a Mystery
AP BREAKING ^ | Oct 6, 2001 | Amanda Riddle

Posted on 10/06/2001 11:52:59 AM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!

LANTANA, Fla. (AP) - Relatives of a Florida man who contracted a fatal case of anthrax are being given antibiotics as a precaution and the man's co-workers have been tested and cleared, health authorities said Saturday.

Investigators are awaiting test results from soil and other specimens as they try to learn how 63-year-old Bob Stevens contracted the rare and extremely lethal inhaled form of the disease. He died Friday.

More than 50 health and law enforcement officials have fanned out across Palm Beach County to track his movements over the past two months and look for other possible cases.

"We have a long chronology of common activities we need to pursue," state epidemiologist Dr. Steven Wiersma said Saturday. "We don't have any really hot leads at this time."

No other cases of anthrax have been reported in the area. Wiersma said several of Stevens' co-workers at the supermarket tabloid The Sun have been tested, but results were negative. Also, as a precaution, close family members are being treated with antibiotics.

Officials have said there is no evidence that Stevens was the victim of terrorism. Wiersma said tests of Stevens' blood further confirmed that belief because the anthrax in the sample responded to penicillin. Anthrax developed by some countries as a biological weapon could be resistant to the antibiotic, he said.

The Sept. 11 hijackings have put many people on edge about a bioterrorism threat.

Officials believe Stevens contracted anthrax naturally in Florida. The disease can be contracted from farm animals or soil, though the bacterium is not normally found among wildlife or livestock in the state. Stevens was described as an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and gardening.

Officials are also investigating in North Carolina, where Stevens visited last month, but said the disease also is rare among animals in that state.

Investigators have cast a wide net in their search in Florida.

County medical examiners are looking over any unexplained deaths, but have not found any cases connected to anthrax. Veterinarians have been told to be on alert for animals who might have the disease, but none have turned up.

Investigators also are visiting restaurants, parks and other locations he frequented or even visited casually, Wiersma said.

Samples have been sent to labs in Miami or Jacksonville or to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Results could take days.

Only 18 inhalation cases in the United States were documented in the 20th century, the most recent in 1976 in California. The last anthrax case in Florida was in 1974, according to the state health department.

Stevens lived on the same street in this quiet West Palm Beach suburb for 23 years. He and his wife raised their four children, now adults, and British-born Stevens - who became a U.S. citizen - raised his American flag on holidays.

As word of his death spread through the community Friday evening, a worker at a nearly nursery school stopped by his home to drop off cards made by preschool children.

Stevens loved fishing, neighbors said, and would take his next-door-neighbor's 10-year-old boy fishing twice a month.

"It just seems like a horrible dream that you can't wake up from," said neighbor Mary Crandell, whose granddaughter had taken drawing lessons from Stevens for years.

"She's really outgoing and I contribute that to him," Crandell said. "He always had time for her."

AP-ES-10-06-01 1429EDT


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1 posted on 10/06/2001 11:52:59 AM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: all
God rest his soul.

If he"responded to penicillin" why is he dead.

Past reports have shown he sought medical attention as soon as he did not feel well.If penicillin was an answer why is he dead?

What am I missing...the article 'vaguely leads' that he did not get treatment in time all past reports vaguely led on that he did.

2 posted on 10/06/2001 11:59:39 AM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Officials have said there is no evidence that Stevens was the victim of terrorism. Wiersma said tests of Stevens' blood further confirmed that belief because the anthrax in the sample responded to penicillin. Anthrax developed by some countries as a biological weapon could be resistant to the antibiotic, he said.

Nothing to see here, just move on.

It was all just a coincidence.

No need to intern anybody, the muslims are your friend.

3 posted on 10/06/2001 12:00:33 PM PDT by Rome2000
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Past reports have shown he sought medical attention as soon as he did not feel well.If penicillin was an answer why is he dead?

You don't die from the bacteria itself. You die from a certain toxin it produces.

By the time you get symptoms, the amount of toxin in your body has teached lethal levels. At that point, you can kill every bacteria in your body and you will still die.

4 posted on 10/06/2001 12:02:35 PM PDT by BabylonXXX
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Whatever happened to that second positive from yesterday? I heard there was a second case found, then like ten minutes later the federal authorities jumped in and said "no, it was not." Haven't heard a single explanation about it. Just what was it then!
5 posted on 10/06/2001 12:04:07 PM PDT by Golden Eagle
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
They misdiagnosed it. I didn't think penicillin did squat for this and there is a special Anthrax antibiotic. My guess is that this disease is more common than people think but since it is still rare and often misdiagnosed, we don't hear about it. They go "lucky" in diagnosing this one since a lab tech had just finished CDC training on bio-terror weapons and recognized the Anthrax stuff.

Once the bacteria get to the lymph nodes, it's difficult (impossible?) to stop death. Also, keep in mind that this person was 63. My guess is that it looked like his lungs were clearing while the bug made it's way to the lymphatic system so thry tagged him as "responding."

7 posted on 10/06/2001 12:05:51 PM PDT by tbeatty
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Amazing that this article can raise the possible terrorist connection without mentioning that Steven's home is less than a mile away from an airfield were hijacker Atta rented a light plane on multiple occasions.
8 posted on 10/06/2001 12:06:11 PM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: Golden Eagle
The only thing I heard was rumors it was meningitis.
9 posted on 10/06/2001 12:08:02 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: Clinton's a rapist
You've made a point worthy of meditation.
10 posted on 10/06/2001 12:11:06 PM PDT by 537 Votes
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To: tbeatty
That is my point they had him on penicillin, note that they did not state what other antibiotics/treatments were used. Or did they ever? Something smells fishy.

They used a ridiculous statement to 'try' to prove it was not a terrorist attack.

11 posted on 10/06/2001 12:11:32 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: HKUSP9mm
You are right on target. The air ducts of his car must be checked.
13 posted on 10/06/2001 12:15:46 PM PDT by father_elijah
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
--check out the dichotomies with offical anthrax FAQ's. first the authorities are going back 2 months-60 days- to track his movements. Much longer than most other offical estimates of exposure / incubation / symptoms time lines. The only other similat time line was with a russian biowarfare strain, not with any "natural" anthrax. Next, they keep swearing it's not communicable human to human, but his relatives are being given a prophylactic treatment of antibiotics.

Last is still this WHOPPER coincidence with being 10 miles from the mad jihaders hangout. It's TWO coincidences, first, the actual area-with the entire US as being the potential "occassional and natural anthrax area", he's practically on top of where they were, and second is the timing, right after the wtc attacks relatively speaking. One or the other-coincidence, two simultaneously starts to look like *not* a coincidence, IMO.

14 posted on 10/06/2001 12:16:13 PM PDT by zog
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To: BabylonXXX
They tested his anthraxed positive blood and penicillin worked=some? alot? The strong(er) anthrax-killing antibiotics used should have helped him then.

So it was inhaled. From where a five second air pocket,dirt,a merry go round ride?

Do you think they would risk public panic telling us if they DID know something more of a terror attack,is the question to answer and ponder. No tin foil hat needed to think about this.

15 posted on 10/06/2001 12:19:24 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: Miss Marple;Dog Gone;Howlin
Read posts # 8 and 14..
16 posted on 10/06/2001 12:21:20 PM PDT by Dog
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Did anyone else read THIS part??

Sun Sentinel

Three worrisome cases emerged, but two were ruled out and one was labeled unlikely by
day’s end...(blahahblah)... Still, one of the three patients being scrutinized worked
in the same building as Stevens

17 posted on 10/06/2001 12:21:56 PM PDT by DaughterofEve
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To: zog
they keep swearing it's not communicable human to human, but his relatives are being given a prophylactic treatment of antibiotics.

Last is still this WHOPPER coincidence with being 10 miles from the mad jihaders hangout. It's TWO coincidences, first, the actual area-with the entire US as being the potential "occassional and natural anthrax area", he's practically on top of where they were, and second is the timing, right after the wtc attacks relatively speaking. One or the other-coincidence, two simultaneously starts to look like *not* a coincidence, IMO.

Very well said.

18 posted on 10/06/2001 12:22:20 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!; ALL
??What is Steven's employment/occupation/skills/foreign travel/personal interests HISTORY??
( and the same (???) of those he recently visited)
Also, mailing/packaging/wharehouse-locker-storage location HISTORY??.......flower/plants/fertilizer bags/boxes?
Further, Rental history: cars, trucks, boats, aircraft, buses??.........to include those of his visiting contacts.
Last, food, restaurants, ball games, take-out,etc.
Most last, had he tried on 'any' gas-masks, or blown any balloons up?? (filters?)
19 posted on 10/06/2001 12:23:01 PM PDT by maestro
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
The strong(er) anthrax-killing antibiotics used should have helped him then.

No medicine could have helped him.

He waited too long to begin treatment.

Generally, only those who begin antibiotics BEFORE exhibiting symptoms will live. Of course, that raises the question of how the heck is a person to know they need treatment if there are no symptoms. The answer is, the don't.

That's why Anthrax sucks bigtime.

20 posted on 10/06/2001 12:23:35 PM PDT by BabylonXXX
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To: Clinton's a rapist
Amazing that this article can raise the possible terrorist connection without mentioning that Steven's home is less than a mile away from an airfield were hijacker Atta rented a light plane on multiple occasions.

Just a hypothesis.

Maybe anthrax was released but it didn't work(as an effective terrorist "tool"). It looks like Mr. Stevens lived in a suburban area(I do not know the population figures, but it seems he did not live in Bum, you know where, Egypt).

It seems that 1 death out of 'targeted' area of 1,000 people(again I am estimating the population of the targeted area) is not an effective "tool" to terrorize people(a 0.1% effectiveness rate). That is not a reason to get complacent, but to breathe a sigh of relief and to be vigilant.

21 posted on 10/06/2001 12:24:01 PM PDT by Dane
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
I think I've heard that as soon as symptoms show up, its too late. Therefore, you would already have to be on antibiotics at the time you come in contaact with the anthrax bacteria. Am I right? Anyone...anyone...
22 posted on 10/06/2001 12:25:16 PM PDT by TX Bluebonnet
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To: TX Bluebonnet
How long does it take for Anthrax to show up from the time of it being spread until a person falls ill??
23 posted on 10/06/2001 12:27:42 PM PDT by Dog
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
I'm going out on a limb here, but what they hey...

Stevens worked for the tabloid The Sun; perhaps he and some of his co-workers were trying to see how easy it would be to get ahold of anthrax. Ever since 9/11 the media have been tripping over each other trying to show the public just how unprotected we are in airports, from chemical/biological attacks, etc. Perhaps The Sun cooked up a scheme to acquire anthrax and write and expose and it backfired horribly on them.

Just a thought; flame on.........

24 posted on 10/06/2001 12:34:22 PM PDT by randog
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To: Dog
Chicago tribune had an article on it today, it said up to 2 months.
25 posted on 10/06/2001 12:34:40 PM PDT by bjs1779
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To: Dane
Very likely the first biowar attacks will misfire (or did just misfire), just like the first attack on the WTC, in 1993. But these Islamic terrorists are persistent little buggers, as I'm sure you've noticed.
26 posted on 10/06/2001 12:37:31 PM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: Clinton's a rapist
Amazing that this article can raise the possible terrorist connection without mentioning that Steven's home is less than a mile away from an airfield were hijacker Atta rented a light plane on multiple occasions.

They don't want people to be scared or they might not keep flying and spending money like they're supposed to.

27 posted on 10/06/2001 12:40:57 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Dog
Well, the good news is that the longer this goes on, the more likely it is to be an isolated incident. The coincidences are simply staggering, and it is entirely proper to assume that we've been attacked with anthrax.

All except for one thing--so far this unlucky soul is the only one who seems to have gotten it.

I understand that the incubation period can vary, and that we can't be sure yet. But any kind of attack would have gotten more than one person and even though somebody had to be the first to show symptoms, others would soon follow.

If we go another week or two without any more cases, I'd say it's highly likely that this is an incredible coincidence.

It seems hard to believe, but even the government couldn't cover up an anthrax outbreak.

28 posted on 10/06/2001 12:44:04 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: zog
first the authorities are going back 2 months-60 days- to track his movements. Much longer than most other offical estimates of exposure / incubation / symptoms time lines.

-The need to check within the scope of all possible strains of Antrax. Do do otherwise would be to risk missing the source.

The only other similat time line was with a russian biowarfare strain, not with any "natural" anthrax.

-Only those "Natural" strains that we know of. Diseases change, new strains arise.

Next, they keep swearing it's not communicable human to human, but his relatives are being given a prophylactic treatment of antibiotics.

-The precautionary principle. If they didn't attempt to protect the family and this does indeed turn out to be a new strain that is somehow communicable then the CDC would look mighty damn stupid and I'm sure there'd be a looooong line of Freepers condeming them for "ignoring the possibility".

Last is still this WHOPPER coincidence with being 10 miles from the mad jihaders hangout.

-This has merit, but is should not be overlooked that coincidences do happen. Sometimes they happen in a manner that we consider highly improbable.

29 posted on 10/06/2001 12:47:40 PM PDT by El Sordo
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To: BabylonXXX
"By the time you get symptoms, the amount of toxin in your body has reached lethal levels. At that point, you can kill every bacteria in your body and you will still die."

Good overview. This is exactly what I read about it yesterday. It's the toxin that kills. You have to take antibotics before you get symptoms.

30 posted on 10/06/2001 12:50:29 PM PDT by blam
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To: Dog Gone
I don't understand why no one thinks this was a warning shot. That is what I have thought since he first was announced as having it.
31 posted on 10/06/2001 12:52:01 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: Clinton's a rapist
Very likely the first biowar attacks will misfire (or did just misfire), just like the first attack on the WTC, in 1993. But these Islamic terrorists are persistent little buggers, as I'm sure you've noticed.

No doubt. That is why we must be vigilant, and not do what the Clinton administration did and ignore the threat.

32 posted on 10/06/2001 12:52:03 PM PDT by Dane
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To: tbeatty
"They go "lucky" in diagnosing this one since a lab tech had just finished CDC training on bio-terror weapons and recognized the Anthrax stuff."

We gram stain and culture all cerebrospinal fluids and most sputums. If anything we culture too much.

33 posted on 10/06/2001 12:54:00 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
"That is my point they had him on penicillin, note that they did not state what other antibiotics/treatments were used. Or did they ever? Something smells fishy."

Many of you misunderstood this entirely. The idea of the bug they cultured from this man being sensitive to penicillin is supposed to indicate that it was not genetically manipulated, and therefore less likely to be bioterrorism. One thinks that if you were to release a bioterroristic bug, you would first make it resistant to common antibiotics. Since this bug was not resistant, they are using that to help support the idea that it was not from a terrorist source.

34 posted on 10/06/2001 12:57:18 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema
I don't think bin Laden believes in warning shots. And I think anthrax would be hard to give to only one person.

I have little doubt that he would spray the entire USA today if he could.

The only reservation I have is that he might be holding back on another big attack for the first bomb to fall. That would have some strategic terror value in (his mind) making us reconsider the wisdom of fighting him.

35 posted on 10/06/2001 1:08:03 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: BabylonXXX
Generally, only those who begin antibiotics BEFORE exhibiting symptoms will live. Of course, that raises the question of how the heck is a person to know they need treatment if there are no symptoms. The answer is, the don't.

That's why Anthrax sucks bigtime.

That's why sensors need to be developed for this stuff and need to be deployed ASAP....I believe they are working on them as we speak.

36 posted on 10/06/2001 1:09:19 PM PDT by Nate505
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To: MarMema
Thank you for the information in reply #34.
37 posted on 10/06/2001 1:10:31 PM PDT by Dane
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: MarMema
And I thought I understood all of the Q & A's on anthrax.

I was under the impression that after exposure it is not too late.

They better get serious about stopping the mad men that wish to do this and quickly.

39 posted on 10/06/2001 1:29:39 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: HKUSP9mm
I saw a loop on CNN. The CDC people were all over the car. They were actually removing air vents. :)
40 posted on 10/06/2001 1:29:53 PM PDT by Letitring
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To: bjs1779
Here's something to think about. The incubation period can be up to 60 days, and the last Russian to get it after their accident acquired it in something like 46 days. Atta made flights out of the airport a mile from Stevens home 6 weeks ago. Now today, I'm seeing the media reporting anthrax has an incubation of 45 days. By those figures, he would be outside the maximum incubation period if it had anything to do with Atta's flights.

You know, I'm getting awful damn tired of hearing, there will be more attacks, and then when they happen, we get "isolated incident, not connected to Sept. 11." Like the bomb in Saudi. Everyone's going out of their way to mention that it's not connected, because, as we all know, bombs explode outside watch shops all the time. Even if they report a story, it's modified to take the worst parts out, like with the Russian plane. Not it didn't stop in Belgium and pick somebody up after all, and the reports that did say their might be bullet holes only said it was in the cockpit wreckage. It didn't mention anything about them being in the cockpit door, or that Russian public television said that damage to the skin looked like machine gun fire, or that part of a corpse had a bullet in it.

We aren't going to get the straight story on anything from now on.

41 posted on 10/06/2001 1:34:55 PM PDT by TheLurkerX
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To: TheLurkerX
Pardon my spelling, my proofreading sucks today.
42 posted on 10/06/2001 1:39:27 PM PDT by TheLurkerX
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
Something smells fishy.

2 months ago this would have merited very little news coverge at all.

A news progarm on the radio played a statement by the hospital spokesman that claimed that the man was in respiratory distress ( already having SEVERE problems breathing) the day he was admitted. The next morning he went into renal (kidney) failure. By later that day, despite dialysis, he was terminal.

The biggest challenge in treating anthrax is that by the time people seek treatment they are already too late.

What is most fishy here is people so starved for a conspiracy that they are using the lack of evidence as evidence of conspiracy.

43 posted on 10/06/2001 1:41:50 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: zog, all
Anthrax CAN'T be transmitted to humans from humans, it is not communicable. You can only get it by being exposed to it. Anthrax is a bacteria, not a virus. It occurs naturally in the soil and in livestock, esp. sheep. They gave the meds to the family because the family could have also been exposed.
44 posted on 10/06/2001 1:44:16 PM PDT by GWfan
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To: Eagle Eye
If Mr. Stevens had flown recently, I hope they check the health of all the passengers on the plane(s) with him.
45 posted on 10/06/2001 1:48:01 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
1. There have been only 18 airborne anthrax cases reported in the last century.

2. In war, the first casualty is the truth.

46 posted on 10/06/2001 1:48:32 PM PDT by Fulbright
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To: Eagle Eye
I am not starved for any conspiracy.I am as puzzled as the article says th experts are,is all. I am saying out loud all of my thoughts on this in puzzlement. If you have all the answers post them please.
47 posted on 10/06/2001 1:50:39 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
We have a Shakespearian administration: "You ba$tard terrorists, we will get you" and then "No no no! it was much ado about nothing. She was just pretending to be a slut"
48 posted on 10/06/2001 1:52:27 PM PDT by lavaroise
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To: mewzilla
If Mr. Stevens had flown recently, I hope they check the health of all the passengers on the plane(s) with him.

Why? Anthrax is NOT transmitted person-to-person. I hope that you are not thinking that someone would use anthrax in an airplane. Not a very effective use of it.

49 posted on 10/06/2001 1:54:34 PM PDT by Eagle Eye
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To: father_elijah
They just showed the cops on CNN in his car with a Q-tip swab collecting samples around the dashboard vents.
50 posted on 10/06/2001 1:56:16 PM PDT by DoctorMichael
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