White House detected bioweapons in 2002

In 2002, a White House alarm that detects airborne biological weapons went off, creating fears that there was a silent terrorist attack in the building, former president George W. Bush writes in his new book, “Decision Points.”

Bush related the story to the Today Show’s Matt Lauer in an interview broadcast this week, the Washington Post reports.

Bush recalled a scare that the administration had undergone while on a state visit to China in February 2002.

“Steve Hadley [then deputy national security adviser] and Dick Cheney are on the video in front of us, Dick is getting ready to give a speech to the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York," former President Bush said, according to the Washington Post. "And he says ‘The bio detectors have gone off. We think there’s been a botulism toxin – a potential botulism toxin attack.' And we had all been exposed to it. And it – BT is a very lethal poison. And had we inhaled it we could easily be dead.”

Mice were then used to test the air.

“And we kind of chuckled and said, ‘Well if the mice are feet up, we’re goners. And if they’re feet down, we’re fine,'” Bush said, the Washington Post reports.

The warning was a false positive and the mice survived, along with the top members of the administration.