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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Giuliani Holds Press Conference

Aired October 14, 2001 - 14:09   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.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is beginning a news conference in New York, and I want to listen to what he has to say. Stand by for a moment.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: We obviously have had, over the last 24 hours, a number of different situations in which people are concerned about anthrax or other similar kinds of diseases.

The police department has had over 100 calls. We've responded to them.

I don't know what the numbers are for the emergency rooms. They're fairly extensive also.

The good news that emerges from it is that none of them have proven to be anything else but negative. The only case is still the same the one as that Friday, which is the case at NBC. The one at the Times appears to also have been negative.

However, there are some developments there. The police officer and two lab technicians who were involved in detecting the September 18 envelope -- and a number of people obviously were tested. When they were tested, miniscule spores, or spore, was found, in two cases in their nose and in one case on their face. They are being treated.

This does not mean, and I emphasize, this does not mean that they have anthrax, or in the same situation as the woman who is being treated for anthrax.

It does mean that in the case of the police officer who actually retrieved the envelope, upon testing, spores were found in his nose, and he was treated immediately with Cipro. And as you remember, the woman who works at NBC was treated with CIpro and is making a full and complete recovery. And he is being treated at a much earlier stage with what appears to be significantly less exposure.

Two of the lab technicians -- one actually was found to have only one spore in her nose, or appears to be one. She is being treated. And another lab technician had some on her face, and she is also being treated.

So just so that, when and if this is reported, you don't get confused, this does not mean they have anthrax.

And then the other detectives and FBI agent who were involved in the retrieval of the envelope have also been tested. And in their case, nothing was found. And the other lab technicians have all been tested. And in their case, nothing has been found.

Some advice to people who are reporting these incidents who are concerned about whether or not they have recieved an envelope or anything else containing anthrax: If you are concerned about it, here's what you should do. If you feel that you have to call 911 because you're worried about the fact that you've received an envelope or you've received a package or you think you see anthrax, leave it where it is. Do not carry it with you. Do not hand it to anyone else. If you receive it in your office and you've already touched it, just leave it where it is. If you haven't touched it yet, don't touch it.

The best procedure would be, if it's in your home or it's in your office or it's in a public place, leave it where it is. Go to another room, call 911. Stand there and wait for 911 to arrive. No danger in remaining there. That amount of time is not critical to anything that's going to happen. You have a lot of time to treat this.

And then when the police arrive, or the FBI or whoever responds to it, they will handle the material.

You will be tested. And then if you need prophylactic treatment, you can obtain it.

And there is plenty of time for all of this to happen. There shouldn't be like a panicked reaction to it. It's not as if, you know, minutes and seconds and hours really matter here.

GIULIANI: What you do, however, do when you pass it around is you just complicate the whole investigatory process. So you get the envelope, you find it. You go show it to a co-worker or a relative. You go show it to someone else. You go show it to someone else. You go show it to someone else. And then all of those people then have to be tested.

And given the realities, it is going to turn out in the overwhelming majority of cases that it was talcum powder or it was something else. But still we're going to have to test them all.

So if you would -- and then, of course, if it does contain anthrax -- which again, we have only one case that we know of so far out of many that have been reported -- then the safest thing to do is to just leave it where it is. Call and wait.

Again, the waiting period is totally insignificant in terms of treating the disease if, in fact, you know, you have it. And that's very remote.

So once again, if you think that you have to report something because you believe that there is anthrax, or there is suspicion of anthrax, leave the package or envelope wherever it is when you develop that suspicion. Do not take it anywhere else. Call the police. Wait. And then help them -- do the best that you can to recreate where it had been.

And then we'll test you. We'll test them. And, you know, we're going to be able to tell you, as we've told the overwhelming majority of people, that it's negative.

But I can understand why you might be concerned. But there's a way to do it and then there's a way in which you just complicate the whole situation for the police and the Board of Health even more than is the case.

Other than that, I think we're OK.

QUESTION: Sir, what's the difference between having anthrax and having anthrax spores?

GIULIANI: I'll have the doctor explain it. There's a big difference, and he'll explain it.

(INTERRUPTED BY CNN COVERAGE OF A LIVE EVENT)

BLITZER: New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani briefing reporters on the latest developments involving the anthrax investigation in New York.

Disclosing that one police officer who retrieved the letter in the offices of NBC News in New York, there was a discovery of some spores in his nose. He is being treated with the antibiotic Cipro, and he is in a much earlier stage than Tom Brokaw's assistant, who also was exposed to the anthrax bacteria.

In addition, Mayor Giuliani saying that two lab technicians who also were in contact with this suspicious letter -- one of the lab technicians, there was a discovery of some anthrax spores in her nose. A second had one anthrax spore on her face. They are also being treated.

Mayor Giuliani urging everyone to not panic, not be in a situation of overreacting. Saying all of the other incidents, people calling in suspecting anthrax, have proven negative. Only the one incident involving NBC News proving positive so far. And also confirming that the incident at the New York Times, at least so far, has proven to be negative.

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