During Pontiac's Rebellion, a pan-Native American uprising in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley in 1763, biological weapons were used. Two blankets from Fort Pitt's smallpox ward were purposely given to Delaware Indians who were trying to negotiate a surrender. A short time later, a vicious smallpox epidemic broke out.

There has been but one subsequent incidence of bioterrorism in the United States of which I'm aware. That occurred in the fall of 2001, when five people died and as many as 16 others became ill after being infected by anthrax spores sent through the mail.

In contrast, tobacco-related health problems cause 400,000 deaths and run up $75 billion (US) in healthcare bills every year in the United States. Forty-six percent of adults in the United States smoke.1 Yet in 2003 bioterrorism research has been allocated almost $6 billion. For the same period, state funding for prevention of...

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