A CBS staffer who opens Dan Rather‘s mail has tested positive for cutaneous
anthrax, the network announced Thursday.
In a statement, CBS News President
Andrew Heyward said that the staffer, later identified as Claire Fletcher, a
triathlete from Britain, was being treated with the antibiotic Cipro and “is
expected to make a full recovery; in fact, she feels fine.”
case, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Thursday that no one else at CBS has
tested positive for the disease.
On the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather
concluded a report about the anthrax scare by remarking of Fletcher: “What
happened to a respected and loyal colleague here at CBS News today drove
home the point in a very personal way. … It has been just over five weeks
now since everything changed and the threat of terror in this country became
a real part of everyday life.”
Although it aired live on all three major cable news networks, CBS did not
present live coverage of its own news conference Thursday during which New
York City and network officials announced that the anthrax attack had been
carried to its news offices.
Today’s New York Post quoted
CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius as saying, “We’re trying not to make
ourselves the focus of this bigger-picture story.”
The Post pointed
out that since the local CBS station is the only one in New York that has a
strong signal into the New York City area from its backup transmitter atop
the Empire State Building (all other stations lost their transmitters during
the World Trade Center collapse and currently are providing coverage from
weaker transmitters in other locations), millions of people without cable in
the area were left in the dark about the outbreak until news about it was
broadcast later in the day.