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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rudolph Giuliani Holds Press Conference

Aired October 15, 2001 - 14:57   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: We're looking at New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stepping to the microphone, and we're not clear what sort of announcement that the mayor has to make. He brought with him a board of some sort, so we'll find out.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

RUDY GIULIANI, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: ... job fair that's going to take place for New Yorkers who were displaced from their jobs, or had their employment in any way affected by the World Trade Center attack on September 11. The twin towers, the job expo is going to take place at Madison Square Garden, Expo Center, on Wednesday, September 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There will be 200 employers, including Macy's, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, AOL Time Warner, Old Navy, and Madison Square Garden will be there to screen and interview prospective job seekers. Thousands of jobs will be available in retail, finance, technology, health care, food service, security, and other employment fields. And those jobs will be made available to people who were displaced.

This job expo signals yet another significant milestone in the city's efforts to emerge -- not only to emerge from this difficult period, but to emerge much stronger than we were before. Thousands of jobs are available to New Yorkers. Thousands of jobs are available to New Yorkers in general, but particularly to those who may have lost or had their employment interrupted as a result of the attack of September 11. And I urge anyone who lost their job or anybody who's looking for a job come to the expo, because there are jobs available for anyone that wants to work.

I want to thank Governor Pataki, the Madison Square Garden, for their partnership in putting this expo together, the city and the state are working together in order to accomplish this. The Twin Tower job expo is part a of coordinated effort on the part of all of us to assist workers who may have been displaced.

Since September 11, the city and its partners have identified nearly 13,000 temporary and permanent job openings for people who are seeking jobs, so the thing to do now is to match people looking for a job with the many more than sufficient job openings that exist, so that people don't have to be out of work.

And anyone who has any questions about this can call 718-557-1132 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on weekends. And so far, that hot line has served over 3,500 individuals looking for jobs.

Amy? Please.

AMALIA BETANZOS, CHAIR, COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN: Thank you.

I think it's very important that the word be out, as the mayor said, that there are jobs waiting and available. And I want to particularly tell the Spanish media that there are jobs for people who do not speak English, also. We have the full gamut of jobs and we're really waiting. And there are jobs available that are anxious to match. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BETANZOS: Oh, si, como no?

GIULIANI: I'll say it in Spanish.

(LAUGHTER)

BETANZOS: You may be taken up on that.

(speaking in Spanish)

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BETANZOS: Amalia Betanzos.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BETANZOS: I'm the chair on the Commission on the Status of Women.

GIULIANI: Also, the Web site is www.nyc.gov/twintowersjobs, if you want to communicate with us that way. Or you can also call 800- 935-7507 if you want information about a job.

And once again, this will be at Madison Square Garden on October 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Questions?

QUESTION: Is priority going to be given to people who lost their jobs at the Trade Center?

GIULIANI: Priority is going to be to people that lost their jobs or had their jobs interrupted because of the World Trade Center attack. But given the fact that there are a lot of jobs, I would think it's really -- could help anybody find a job.

OK?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

GIULIANI: I was informed that since 7:00 a.m. until 1:50 we had 82 calls, and we've responded to them. We've retrieved 24 packages. So far none of them appear to be positive for anything dangerous, and some of them have the scent of baby powder. But...

BERNARD KERIK, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: The -- basically it's what the mayor said. And that's from 7:00 this morning. A lot of baby powder, we anticipate. And out of the 24 packages received, they'll be sent to DOH, to the Department of Health for analyzation. And things are flowing pretty smoothly. People should remember: Do not panic. Put the item down. Isolate it. Contain it and call 9-1- 1.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

KERIK: Excuse me?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) from Trenton, New Jersey?

KERIK: We haven't seen them yet.

QUESTION: Is your response to those, as you described yesterday, that do police officers and firefighters respond to each of those, or how are you dealing with those calls?

KERIK: Those teams. Two police officers, one firefighters.

QUESTION: How many of those teams do you currently have set up?

KERIK: There's a number around the city.

QUESTION: Do you have adequate capacity, in terms of the number of teams?

KERIK: Yes, absolutely.

QUESTION: And is there a backlog in the response?

KERIK: No, there's not.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

KERIK: Right, there have not been a backlog. And I just have to remind you, out of the 82 calls to 9-1-1, there were only 24 packages. So people are, you know, they are sort of panicking. Relax.

We got a call this morning about some dust coming from a bridge. It was concrete. There are construction workers working. You know, people can't panic. We'll get there and take care of it. You know, just don't panic.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

KERIK: Excuse me?

QUESTION: When you say baby powder, is that pranks, or just somebody...

KERIK: I would anticipate so.

QUESTION: Are any of your new calls today from other media companies?

KERIK: So far there has been one that I know of.

QUESTION: ... plan to put police officers into the postal...

KERIK: I think we should really say to everyone to really calm down. The reality is that this is -- first of all, we have only one, we have only one situation. That goes back to last Friday, and actually goes back for some time. When you consider the number of people in New York, over 8 million, the amount of people that travel through the city of New York and the amount of mail coming into the city of New York, we're dealing with one situation so far.

And we can let the psychology of this kind of defeat us, as opposed to remaining calm. If you get a piece of mail or package that you think is suspicious, then, you know, leave it there. If you think it's suspicious enough to call 9-1-1, then do not pass it around to anyone. We've had, you know, situations before Friday in which, by passing it around we ended up having to test significant numbers of people.

So if you get a package -- now we know what you do. You get a package and you think it's suspicious, call 9-1-1. Leave the package where it is. Do not pass it around to five other people to show it to them. Just leave it where it is. Then we'll come. We'll only have to test one person or two, not lots of different people. We'll be able to contain it and we're going to probably almost always find out that it's baby powder or something like that.

But again, if you think it's suspicious enough to call 9-1-1, then you should not be passing it around to lots of people in your office or in your home showing them what you got.

Second, this is very treatable. There is no reason for anybody to be panicked by this. If you detect any of these things early enough, there are more than enough medications to deal with it adequately and more than adequately.

And, Doctor, do you want to say a few words about this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I would agree with what the mayor is saying, which is that I think people should be practical and pragmatic. I think that they -- mail is a part of everyday life and people should continue to receive mail. People should continue to look at their mail. They should open up letters carefully. They should look to see what the content of those letters is.

And if they see something unusual, they should do exactly what the mayor said that they should do. I don't think people should do anything more than that. I think doing more than that doesn't make any sense to us, based on our current understanding of the small number of situations that we have. The problem that we've had is that people open these things up, the powder spills all over the place, they pass it around to people, and that's when you run into problems. I think people -- in this situation, people need to use some common sense.

QUESTION: Some of this stuff got thrown in the trash (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Was that place -- landfill/sanitating department, is there a trail there? Or is that -- the door kind of closed on that being any kind of concern?

GIULIANI: It's in a landfill. We raised this question on Friday, but if it had been buried somewhere, it's buried, and not going to harm anybody, not going to trouble anybody.

QUESTION: An update on the status of the investigation of the origin of the letter? How is that going? Are there any leads? Is there anything written on these letters that might help you decipher the origin of it?

GIULIANI: I can't get into the investigation. The investigation is continuing, both not only on the letter from Trenton, but also on the additional letters from Florida. And I just want to stress, you know, people think that it may be amusing, and it may be a hoax to send someone something with baby powder or talcum powder. The people that do that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law -- hoax or not, real anthrax or not.

The majority -- everything we've gotten so far has not been anthrax. If we find people that have done this as a hoax, or harassing in some harassing form, they will be prosecuted.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: A couple quick notes, here. There has been a lot of activity and we want to bring you up to date on everything. You've been just seeing the latest press conference from New York, some of the officials there. One of the lead items from Mayor Giuliani is that 82 calls have come in on a hot line about suspicious packages. Twenty-four packages have been received so far today by authorities, but so far they have not found anything more suspicious than baby powder on them.

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