Supreme Court building shut down as precaution
Dateline: Washington DC, 26 Oct 2001
Date: 10/26/2001 04:00 AM
1. Wide view of Supreme Court
2. Close-up detail on exterior of court building
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Kathy Arberg, Supreme Court spokeswoman.
4. Mid view of court
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr John Eisold, Capitol Hill physician.
6. Wide view of Eisold speaking
Anthrax was discovered Friday on a filter removed from a warehouse that screens mail headed for the Supreme Court and officials made plans to shut the court building down as a precaution.
Federal officials said there was no evidence the microbe had traveled to the court building itself.
But court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the entire building would be closed and employees sent home and that it would be tested thoroughly.
She added that if any contamination is detected, the building will be decontaminated.
The building was immediately closed to tourists and the ventilation system was turned off in case any material had found
its way from the postal screening center, officials said.
Capitol physician John Eisold declined to say whether any of the nine justices were tested for exposure or whether any are
The justices held a private meeting in the building Friday morning.
Authorities were taking much the same precautions as they did when anthrax was discovered across the street in a Senate office
building, Eisold said.
Court medical workers began testing some of the 400 people who work in the main building Friday afternoon.
The court was in temporary recess this week, but returns for arguments and other business Monday.
If the building is shut down, the court will borrow alternate court facilities.