In July, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would allow expiring anthrax vaccines to be given to civilian emergency responders within the United States. The question: Is that vaccine safe?
In this episode, we look at the history of the anthrax vaccine and the results of the investigation into the only anthrax attack on the United States: The anthrax laced letters which were mailed to members of the mainstream media and Congress in September and October 2001. Last, an update on the current security of the United States’ anthrax supplies.
Warning: This episode contains disturbing information.
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H.R. 1300: First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act
- Creates a program for distributing anthrax vaccines that will soon expire to emergency responders who volunteer to accept them.
- Creates a program for tracking the vaccines.
- Creates a two year pilot program, in at least two states, for distributing the vaccines.
- Passed the House of Representatives 424-0
- Sponsored by Rep. Peter King of New York
- 6 Pages
- Website: What is BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed), Emergent BioSolutions.
- Article: Experimental Drugs Linked to Gulf War Veteran’s Ills by Warren Leary, New York Times, May 7, 1994.
- Article: The Anthrax Vaccine Scandal by Laura Rozen, Salon, October 14, 2001.
- Report: Biological Warfare and Anthrax Vaccine by Barbara Loe Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center, December 2001.
- Article: Gulf War Vaccine Still a Problem, Leading Scientist Tells Inquiry by Michael Smith, The Telegraph, August 12, 2004.
- FDA Document: The safety and efficacy of anthrax vaccine have not been estabilished, and the preponderance of the world’s literature show the vaccine is unsafe, and a contributor to Gulf War Syndrome as acknowledged in the vaccine’s package insert by Meryl Nass MD, December 29, 2004.
- Report: Anthrax Vaccine and Public Health Policy by Martin Meyer Weiss, MD, Peter D. Weiss, MD, and Joseph B. Weiss, MD, American Journal of Public Health, November 2007.
- Article: Gulf War Illness: Thousands Still Report Symptoms by Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times (republished on Military.com), April 21, 2014.
- Report: The Project BioShield Act: Issues for the 113th Congress by Frank Gottron, Congressional Research Service, June 18, 2014.
- Report: Emergent BioSolutions 2014 Annual Report
- Website: Emergent BioSolutions Lobbying, OpenSecrets.org
- Website: Emergent BioSolutions Lobbyists, OpenSecrets.org
2001 Anthrax Attacks
- Article: U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, and William J. Broad, New York Times, September 4, 2001.
- Article: The Anthrax War by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal and R. James Woolsey (reprinted by Free Republic), October 17, 2001.
- Article: Public Enemy No. 2 by Richard Cohen, Washington Post, October 18, 2001.
- Article: Who Made the Anthrax? by Richard Butler, New York Times, October 18, 2001.
- Article: Anthrax Bacteria Likely to be US Military Strain by Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist, October 24, 2001.
- Article: F.B.I. Presents Anthrax Case, Saying Scientist Acted Alone by Scott Shane and Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, August 6, 2008.
- Article: Scientist Officially Exonerated in Anthrax Attacks by Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, August 8, 2008.
- Department of Justice Report: Amerithrax Investigative Summary, U.S. Department of Justice, February 19, 2010.
- Press Release: Justice Department and FBI Announce Formal Conclusion of Investigation into 2001 Anthrax Attacks, U.S. Department of Justice, February 19, 2010.
- F.B.I. Document Directory: Amerithrax or Anthrax Investigation
- Article: Timeline: How the Anthrax Terror Unfolded, NPR, February 15, 2011.
- Article: Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? by Noah Shachtman, Wired, March 24, 2011.
- Article: The Anthrax Scare: Not a Germ of Truth by Nicholaus Mills, The Guardian, September 15, 2011.
- Article: New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI’s Case Against Anthrax Suspect by Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica, Greg Gordon of McClatchy, Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser of PBS Frontline, October 10, 2011.
- Article: Did Bruce Ivins Hide Attack Anthrax From the FBI? by Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica, Greg Gordon of McClatchy, Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser of PBS Frontline, October 10, 2011.
- GAO Report: Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could be Improved, Government Accountability Office, December 2014.
- Article: FBI’s 2001 Anthrax Attack Probe Was Seriously Flawed by Rebecca Trager, Scientific American, December 29, 2014.
- Article: Anthrax Fast Facts, CNN, May 23, 2015.
The Patriot Act
- Article: Anti-Terrorism Bill Hits Snag on the Hill by John Lancaster, The Washington Post, October 3, 2001.
- Article: Congress Had No Time to Read the USA Patriot Act by Paul Blumenthal, Sunlight Foundation, March 2, 2009.
Live Anthrax Shipments
- Article: Our Bad: Pentagon Mails Live Anthrax in Error by Paul Shinkman, US News & World Report, May 27, 2015.
- Article: Pentagon Now Says Army Mistakenly Sent Live Anthrax to All 50 States by Richard Sisk, Military.com, September 1, 2015.
- Press Conference: Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program, Department of Defense, (broadcast on C-SPAN), June 28, 2002.
- Press Conference with Dr. Steven Hatfill: Anthrax Investigation, C-SPAN, August 25, 2002.
- United Nations Security Council Meeting: Iraqi Weapons Compliance Debate, United Nations Security Council (broadcast on C-SPAN), February 5, 2003.
- Hearing: Federal Bureau of Investigation Oversight, House Judiciary Committee (broadcast on C-SPAN), September 16, 2008.
- Hearing: Federal Bureau of Investigation Oversight, Senate Judiciary Committee (broadcast on C-SPAN), September 17, 2008.
- YouTube: Ron Paul Patriot Act NOBODY READ IT!, uploaded July 7, 2009.
- Press Conference: Report on 2001 Anthrax Letters, National Academy of Sciences (broadcast on C-SPAN), February 15, 2011.
- Television Episode: The Anthrax Files by PBS Frontline, October 11, 2011.
- Hearing: Defense Department Anthrax Shipments, House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (broadcast on C-SPAN), July 28, 2015.