SIOUX FALLS (AP) --- Sen. Tom Daschle, after visiting with workers at an anthrax-testing laboratory, said Thursday that fighting bioterrorism must become a national priority.
A day earlier he visited the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where 7,100 samples from U.S. Capitol buildings and other government facilities were tested for anthrax bacteria.
''Laboratories, both civilian and military, across the country have really become the front lines in our war against bioterrorism,'' Daschle, D-S.D., said in a conference call with South Dakota reporters.
''We've got to increase the funding, training and technology of facilities to respond adequately to bioterrorism.''
Daschle said it could be another three weeks before he and his staff return to their quarters in the Senate Hart Building. They and other senatorial offices were moved out after an anthrax-tainted letter sent to Daschle was opened in the mailroom on Oct. 15.
''This has been a complicating and difficult period for us,'' Daschle said. ''But we keep going back to the most important fact and that is we are all healthy.''