The post-9/11 anthrax attacks—when spore-laced letters were delivered to victims in the mail—terrorized the country. The government ordered millions of doses of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin to prevent the life-threatening disease—and then replenished the nation’s stockpile so that it might have enough in the event of a future attack. But after a few years, memory of the attacks began to fade from America’s collective psyche, and funding to maintain the cipro in the stockpile dropped off. Five years after the anthrax attacks, the nation’s stash of cipro had returned to its pre-2001 level.

 

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