Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on September 17, that he would soon be sending an anti-terrorism proposal to the U.S. Congress and that he would ask Congress to enact the legislation by Friday, September 21. Given the length, complexity and importance of the bill (the Patriot Act). He was asking Congress to act with blazing speed.
On the same day, September 17, an article by Rick Weiss appeared in the Washington Post entitled, “Bioterrorism: An Even More Devastating Threat.” Weiss explained that:
“Biological attacks can be far more difficult to respond to than conventional terrorist attacks. For one thing, they are covert rather than overt; for days, no one would know that one had occurred. That’s a huge problem for a disease like anthrax.”