Postal Service

Oct 22 – “Postal workers [in Washington D.C.] and elsewhere expressed dismay over the way their superiors handled the situation. The letters with anthrax sent to Senator Daschle, The New York Post and Tom Brokaw, the NBC news anchor, all were mailed from Trenton, and two postal workers there have tested positive for anthrax on their skin, a less serious form of the disease than pulmonary anthrax.  “These people were reluctant to listen to us,” said Steve Bahrle, a postal union official in Trenton. “We were subjected to unnecessary risk and exposure.”

Oct. 28  Postal Service buys irradiation equipment
The Postal Service will spend $40 million to buy eight electron-beam devices to decontaminate mail, according to a New York Times report.  A same-day story from the NYT indicated that despite the contamination of four high-speed sorting machines at the Morgan center, New York City’s largest mail distribution facility, it would not be closed down against the protests of the postal union.

Nov. 21, 2001 “Postal Union president speaks out
In Washington, the president of a major postal employees union says he will advise members to refuse to work in buildings where any trace of anthrax remains. Nationwide, the US Postal Service has tested 278 facilities for anthrax and found some contamination at 21 of them. Nineteen have been decontaminated and reopened.”

Senator Joe Lieberman was the chair of the committee with Postal Service oversight , Homeland and Intergovernment  Affairs  “In October, 2001, two United States Postal Service (USPS) workers, Joseph Curseen, Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr., died from inhalation anthrax they contracted working with mail in the contaminated Brentwood facility. Judicial Watch represented hundreds of USPS workers and a USPS workers’ support group organized as “Brentwood Exposed,” concerning all matters related to the attacks.”  [see the Washington D.C.  page]

The Judicial Watch organization, which claimed to represent 2,300 U.S. Postal Service workers, kept this story alive. In 2003, they published that “so far, 8 postal workers have died and hundreds remain harmed by the lethal exposure”
The only anthrax deaths we’ve heard of in the USPS are the two named above.
Local New Jersey health officials and hospitals came under fire for offering “nasal swab” tests to Postal workers and the worried public. The ’swab’ is general and will test positive to almost any respiratory infection, most certainly for pneumonia-causing bacteria.  Critical retrospection about the breakdown of a suitable chain of communication blamed the locals for allowing reporters into their meetings. Most  Hamilton Postal workers who were reported as ‘positive’ victims of inhalation anthrax turned out to be negative.
In Florida:
“Malecki said there has been no evidence of exposure in area postal workers”
[USPS reported] “Six Florida postal facilities have ‘medically insignificant’ traces of anthrax”

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