An assassination attempt was just made against President Donald Trump.
In an effort to protect the president from attacks like these, all mail to the White House is screened at a separate facility.
According to The Hill, multiple tests were done to confirm that the substance found was indeed ricin.
An investigation launched
As of Sunday, a suspect is in custody for sending the letter after being “detained trying to enter the United States from Canada,” NBC News reported. Further details about the suspect remain unclear.
Details including when the piece of mail was sent and from where are also unknown, NBC News noted.
According to The Hill, a federal investigation has been launched by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Secret Service.
“The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility,” an FBI spokesperson told The Hill. “At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.”
NBC reported that similar letters were also sent by the suspect “to federal prisons that were discovered in different facilities.” No other politicians were targeted, however, according to reports.
Bioterrorism in America
If ingested, ricin can cause “nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines,” The Hill reports. “It can also result in failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys and the fatal collapse of the circulatory system.”
Sadly, this is not the first time that ricin has been used in an assassination attempt — nor is this the first time that President Trump himself has been targeted by the deadly toxin. According to USA Today, a man in Utah was indicted on federal charges in 2018 after he was alleged to have mailed threatening letters to Trump and others in his administration that “contained the natural ingredients used to make ricin.”
Americans have been on edge about these incidents since at least 2001, “when letters containing anthrax were sent to congressional and media offices,” according to USA Today, killing five and sickening “more than a dozen others.”