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Senior Military Officer Sues Defense Department for Innoculating Soldiers Against Anthrax with An Experimental, Sickness-Causing Vaccine

October 15, 2001

The anthrax threat is spreading.

Hundreds of people at NBC are being tested for the disease after a woman who opened a poisoned letter to Tom Brokaw contracted the disease.

Over the weekend, three new people–a police officer and two lab technicians involved in the investigation at NBC’s New York headquarters–tested positive.

Seven other employees of American Media Inc., the tabloid company in Florida, have tested positive for exposure and are being treated with antibiotics.

In Nevada, pictures contained in a letter sent from Malaysia to a Microsoft office were contaminated with anthrax. Officials say that four people who may have come into contact with the letter tested negative, while results weren’t known for two others.

Seven anthrax scares were reported across Australia today. The U.S. consulate in Melbourne had to be evacuated after a chemical found in a letter caused a security alarm. The British consulate in Brisbane, in addition to five offices across the northeast state of Queensland, reported suspicious letters containing white powder.

In our first hour, we took an in-depth look at Bioport, the one company that is licensed to produce anthrax vaccine.

Now, we’ll talk to a retired major from the U.S. Airforce, who faced 5 years in prison and a court martial after refusing to take the vaccine. The vaccine is still only experimental, and has caused sickness in tens of thousands of Gulf War troops who were forced to take it without giving their informed consent. That is against the law–and Major Sonny Bates is suing the Department of Defense.


  • Major Sonny Bates, retired, U.S. Airforce

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