WASHINGTON (AP) -- Preliminary anthrax tests on some 120 White House mail sorters turned up no sign of exposure to the bacteria on Wednesday. President Bush said he's confident that the people inside the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are not in danger.
"There have been no results that have come back with a positive measure of anthrax," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said, reporting on the screens done so far on about 120 of the 200 workers who have had contact with potentially contaminated White House mail.
Those being tested work at a remote, Secret Service-controlled facility across the Potomac River on property shared by the Anacostia Naval Station and Bolling Air Force Base. Although officials say they are confident no tainted mail actually reached the White House complex, workers at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House were also tested.
All are taking the anthrax-treating antibiotic Cipro as a precaution, Fleischer said.
"We're making sure that the West Wing, the White House is safe," the president said Tuesday after a trace of anthrax was found on a machine that opens White House mail at the screening facility several miles away.
That offsite facility at Bolling was shut down Tuesday morning.
Between three and eight workers on loan from the U.S. Postal Service had access to that contaminated machine where a trace amount -- anywhere from 20 to 500 spores -- of anthrax was found, a senior law enforcement official said.
At least 8,000 spores must be inhaled into the lungs to get the most deadly form of anthrax.
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