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Anthrax Scare: Investigators Await Medical Tests of Floridians Who May Have Been Exposed

Aired October 12, 2001 - 14:47   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Now to the Florida anthrax cases.

John Zarrella is part of the team of CNN correspondents who has been working that side.

John, we are coming up towards 3:00. We expect to know more shortly?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We certainly do, Aaron. There is a news conference scheduled in about 12 or 13 minutes. A representative from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hector Pesquera, who is the Miami field office special agent in charge as well as a representative for Centers for Disease Control; someone from the United States Postal Service Postal Inspectors Office out of Miami; and the local mayor here in Boca Raton will all be here just over to my left, hopefully in about 12 minutes, to update us on the situation here.

One of the things we are waiting for are the test results of the nasal swabs of the last 300 of the 1,000 individuals who were given nasal swabs. They were the 300 employees who work at American Media, behind me, and the 700 people or so who had come and gone over the course of time, from August 1 until the building was cordoned off and sealed down by the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control.

We understand about 80 additional agents are either en route or here in Boca Raton, and they are going to be used over the next couple of days to interview all of the 300 workers and other people who came and went in this building over the course of that same period of time, to try to further pin down, if they can, Aaron, any details, any little nuggets of information that could lead them to where this anthrax may have come from -- anyone who saw anything, heard anything.

We know that the latest woman who was exposed to anthrax, Stephanie Dailey, who came forward last night, a 35-year-old woman, also worked in the mail room here at American Media.

So that is what we are waiting on here, Aaron, for an update on a couple of issues. The condition and if those nasal swab results are back. And any new information that the FBI made be able to give us on what they found inside that building. And that may also come from the CDC, because there were reports of additional anthrax spores that were found in there during the latest investigation of building -- Aaron.

BROWN: John, have you or any of your team of people down there -- Mark, Susan, and the rest -- have you picked up any sense that the FBI or anybody else working the investigative side of this has anything approaching a lead?

ZARRELLA: Nothing that they are certainly divulging to us, nothing at all. It is, again, one little nugget after another little nugget. I think the hope is, at least looking at it from our perspective, that they are narrowing the focus. If anything, it appears the mail room is a logical place for them to start. And it is probably where the latest anthrax samples may have been found.

Again, those are all questions that we'll be posing to these people, but no one is giving us any hints that they are any closer today than they were yesterday or the day before to having a clue as to who did it or where the anthrax came from --Aaron.

BROWN: Hopefully, we'll find out more -- hopefully. Go ahead and listen in, and we will check with you when that starts.

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