The Trump family is facing an alarming situation that has sent the president’s daughter-in-law to the hospital. On Monday, Vanessa Trump — wife of Trump’s son Don Jr. — was rushed to a hospital after authorities say she opened a package delivered to her Manhattan apartment that contained a suspicious white powder.
“Vanessa Trump was being examined at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center as a precaution, according to cops,” reported ABC News about 1 p.m. eastern time.
Details about the incident were very sparse, but it is clear that law enforcement and medical experts are concerned that the white powder could potentially be anthrax or a similar type of agent. Until the substance is tested, authorities are no doubt exercising caution.
NBC News stated that the mysterious package was in fact addressed to Donald Trump Jr., and not his wife.
Additional people who were present at the home when the powder was discovered were also rushed to the hospital.
“After the letter was opened, three people at the residence were taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center,” reported NBC, citing the New York City Fire Department. It was not yet known who the two other people were.
Anthrax attacks were used in September 2001 to target lawmakers in Washington. Letters with active anthrax spores were received at the offices of Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, as well as several media outlets.
“Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail,” an FBI history of the anthrax attacks explains.
“Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history. The ensuing investigation by the FBI and its partners — code-named ‘Amerithrax’ — has been one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement,” the bureau continued.
Partially as a result of those well-documented incidents, the United States is fairly well equipped to deal with anthrax attacks within the country.
“Project BioShield was established in 2004 and provides authority and funds to support the development of countermeasures against chemical biological, radiological and nuclear threat agents,” explained BioPrep Watch in 2012.
“The program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority,” the watchdog group continued.
“BARDA acquired 57,102 doses of the monoclonal antibody Raxibacumab, which treats anthrax, from Human Genome Sciences in 2011,” ellaborated BioPrep Watch.
“This included 20,000 doses under a 2005 contact and 37,102 doses of the 45,000 ordered in a 2009 contract option. At the end of 2010, there was a total supply of 36,102 doses of Raxibacumab.”
In other words, U.S. authorities are much more ready to deal with biological attacks than they were in the past. That’s good news for the people who may have been affected by this recent incident, assuming that the suspicious powder is not merely a hoax.
This is a developing story and we will work to add details as they emerge.
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