Washington – In secret tests conducted in an underground laboratory, the mere presence of Vice President Dick Cheney rendered anthrax spores incapable of sustaining life. More tests are to be run later in the week as a way of determining whether the vice president’s aura or presence can be somehow distilled and put into a new vaccine to protect against infection.
“He just happened to be down there, below ground,” said Michael W. Bannister, one of the scientists from the National Institutes of Health who is administering the tests. “I’m not sure why, exactly. But we thought we saw him moving around in the shadows. And then he just came in the lab and asked if he could observe the testing. And suddenly these spores just started going crazy, and then abruptly died. We looked at each other and didn’t really know if we should believe it at first. But it was obvious: it was because the vice president was standing there.”
An aide to Mr. Cheney, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed with the assessment of Mr. Cheney’s power. “Well, see, now people might understand a little better that there’s no one else who can do what he can do,” the aide said. “You know how he shot his friend in the face that time when he was hunting? Well, that was because he was so inexperienced with the gun. Because he doesn’t have to use it. He doesn’t need a gun to kill deer, or ducks, or whatever it is. That’s what people didn’t understand about that whole thing. All he has to do is get close enough to them where they sense or feel his presence, and they just keel over and die. It’s amazing. And it doesn’t matter what kind of animal. Bears, lions, you name it. I mean, birds just dropping out of the sky. So I’m not surprised by the spore thing at all.”
The testing came about due to increased interest in anthrax infection and its effects, following the suicide last week of Bruce E. Ivins, a scientist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, whom the FBI claim they were on the verge of indicting in the 2001 anthrax letters case. Senior members of the Bush administration ordered the tests Monday, to try to get a better handle on the science behind anthrax infections.
President Bush tried Tuesday to explain the testing, and why it was kept secret until being reported on by several news agencies. “Our number one goal is to protect the American people,” Mr. Bush said. “And we know now that these spores are dangerous. They’re very dangerous. They might look like they can’t do any harm. They’re just chocolate and marshmallows and graham crackers. They’re a tasty treat. How could that be dangerous? Well, I’m telling you now: don’t be fooled by the tastiness. They’re very, very dangerous, and they’re not to be toyed with.”