1. Senate leader Tom Daschle and others approaching press
2. Cutaway, press
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Tom Daschle, US Senate Majority Leader
"31 people now have had positive nasal swabs. Not all of those are members of my staff, there were some capital police involved. There is a huge difference between a positive nasal swab, which only indicates exposure of course, and infection. There is no evidence, and I want to emphasise this, absolutely no evidence of infection at this point."
4. Wide shot, news conference
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Tom Daschle, US Senate Majority Leader
"I want to talk just briefly about three other things. First of all, it is my strong determination, and Senator Lott's as well, that we will not let this stop the work of the Senate. There will be a vote this afternoon. We will be in session and have a vote, or votes, tomorrow, and I am absolutely determined to ensure that the Senate continues to do its work. Secondly, I want to accommodate those who are understandably interested in acquiring as much information about the environment in our Senate office buildings and we will accommodate their needs and provide extra precautionary efforts to ensure that they can go in and check for additional environmental questions that we hope to resolve in the not too distant future. And finally I think it's really important to emphasise that we are going to work in concert with all of the medical personnel. We have the single best medical personnel in the world to address this. They've already come on site. We've been working very closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and Scott Lillibridge will be here in just a moment to talk about their effort. But we have extraordinary people doing all that they can to ensure that we can bring this matter to a successful conclusion."
"I want to assure one and all that we're making sure that we work with the experts - some of them are here with us and can respond to your questions - to take all prudent actions to make sure that our people are protected, and that we have identified where the problems are, and we've taken actions to contain that and deal with it appropriately. Also, I think we've made the right decision to stay in session here in the Capitol and have votes in the Senate this afternoon and probably tomorrow also, because there is no risk here in the Capitol and we feel confident that we can continue to get our work done while taking necessary precautions to protect the people that work with us."
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) General John Parker, Head of the Army Medical Research Centre (which examined the anthrax spore)
"On the samples we took from Senator Daschle's office, it is indeed anthrax. We cultured it and what we found out about it is, it's sensitive. We cultured on a plate and then we put antibiotics on that plate to see if it's sensitive to the antibiotics. This particular strain of anthrax is sensitive to all antibiotics. Penicillin, all the way through ciprofloxin, its a very sensitive strain. We have not identified the strain at this time."
US Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle confirmed on Wednesday that 31 people had tested positively for exposure to the anthrax virus after being in the vicinity of an anthrax-laced letter opened in the senator's office on Monday.
Daschle emphasised the nasal swab tests carried out only demonstrated exposure to the virus and not infection.
But he said the Senate would continue with its work.
Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott said that the decision to carry on with work at the Senate, albeit with safety precautions, was the right one in the circumstances.
And General John Parker, head of the army medical research centre responsible for examining the spore sent to Daschle said the strain of anthrax was sensitive to all antibiotics.
He also said that the strain was of a common variety, although it is yet to be specifically identified.