Recent Trump ricin threats a reminder of past biological harms | Opinion

Envelopes recently addressed to the president and sent to the Pentagon, thought to contain ricin, remind us of the deadly potential of biological threats. I received a similar letter, containing anthrax, 17 years ago. Despite some progress, significant gaps obviously still remain in our nation's ability to defend against biological attacks and such naturally occurring diseases as Ebola.


America was still recovering from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when white-powder letters arrived at the U.S. Capitol and media companies in Florida and New York, killing five and infecting 17 others. It was a frightening and uncertain time.


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