Timeline of New York 2001 anthrax attack
New York City and New Jersey
* September 18, 2001: A letter containing anthrax is postmarked from
Trenton, New Jersey to Tom Brokaw.
A secretary in the New Jersey governor's office received a FedEx
package containing a stamped letter addressed to Tom Brokaw. She put it
in the mail. As of October 16, it is unknown if that was the letter
* September 25, 2001: Erin O'Connor, an NBC Nightly News employee, 38, an
assistant to Tom Brokaw, opens a letter postmarked from Trenton
containing a brown granular substance. The letter was addressed with
crude handwritten block letters, with no return address. She is the
mother of a toddler and wife of a NYPD police officer.
* September 28: A female freelance producer for ABC World News Tonight
takes her seven-month-old son to a birthday party in the ABC offices on
W. 66th St. They visited the World News Tonight offices on the second
floor and a tape-editing room on the third floor.
O'Connor develops a low-grade fever and a rash on her collarbone.
* September 29: The child began presenting symptoms of fever, swelling on
one arm, and an ulcer on one elbow. The mother suspects an infected
* October 1: The child is admitted to New York University Medical Center.
O'Connor begins receiving Cipro.
A 20-something female CBS News aide, who handles mail for Dan Rather in
an office next to his, came into work with a mosquito-bite sized mark
on her left cheek. She is allergic to bug bites.
* October 2: The CBS News aide goes to a doctor after the mark begins
* October 4: The CBS News aide's doctor prescribes penicillin, and the
swelling slowly subsides.
* October 10: A skin biopsy is taken from O'Connor and sent to the CDC.
* Friday, October 12, a case of anthrax is reported in New York City.
O'Connor is reported to have cutaneous anthrax. Another letter from St.
Petersburg contained a white powder which tested negative for anthrax.
The third floor of 30 Rockefeller Center, where the employee works, is
sealed by authorities. The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation.
* Sunday, October 14: A police officer and two lab technicians who
handled the letter were found to have been exposed to anthrax. The
officer and one of the lab technicians tested positive for anthrax in
their nasal passages; the other technician had anthrax on the face.
None were found to be infected.
* Monday, October 15, evening: Tests done by the CDC confirm that the
baby had anthrax. New York City officials and David Westin, president
of ABC News announce that the 7-month-old baby of an ABC World News
Tonight producer contracted cutaneous anthrax.
* Tuesday, October 16: It is reported that the anthrax bacteria sent to
NBC is of the same strain as that found in Boca Raton. Furthermore, the
letters sent to Tom Brokaw at NBC and the letter sent to Tom Daschle's
office in Washington reportedly show similarities in handwriting.
* Wednesday, October 17: Anthrax is found in the New York City office of
Governor George Pataki. Reportedly the anthrax was found in a room used
by his State Police security detail that is not open to the public.
Pataki closes his offices and begins taking Cipro in response, which
many health experts and journalistic commentators call irresponsible
Federal health officials state that the NBC anthrax is the same strain
as the American Media anthrax.
* Thursday, October 18, morning: Andrew Heyward, CBS News president,
announces that a female employee of CBS News who handles mail,
contracted cutaneous anthrax.
Giuliani announced that 350 samples from the NBC offices were tested
negative for anthrax, giving a total of approximately 850 negative
tests so far. 59 of 70 samples from ABC were tested negative; the rest
are pending. Later numbers from the same day: 1100 results, all
negative from 1304 taken from NBC employees.
New Jersey acting governor Donald DiFrancesco announced that a Hamilton
Township postal worker tested positive for cutaneous anthrax.