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Salmonella Mailed to Clinton Offices in Harlem

Aired October 25, 2001 - 09:29   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.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: We broke a story just about 35 minutes ago confirming that former President Clinton's office in Harlem received a package about three weeks ago with vials in them. Apparently an aide opened the package, and whatever substance was inside had spoiled and created salmonella bacteria. We are told the person who opened the package has not gotten sick. Former President Clinton didn't get anywhere near the material. And John King is reporting that whoever has confirmed this is saying they don't believe there is any link to this odd package with anything related to the anthrax attacks or the September 11 attacks here in America.

Obviously, it's not unusual for former presidents to receive crank mail. According, though, to the Food and Drug Administration, an estimated 76 million people get ill annually from food-borne contaminants such as salmonella.

But once again, the person John King talked to sounded pretty much like they knew what the substance originally was in those vials, whatever it was. And they can't confirm that until those tests are completed; and those test are being done today. But it turned into salmonella.

Once again, the aide who handled the stuff didn't get sick, and the most important distinction to make here is that President Clinton's administrators don't believe this has anything to do with the -- our present anthrax scare.

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