Unlike other fears on this list, Anthrax was actually under-played at the time. It’s easy to forget that the week after 9/11 brought with it the worst bioterror attack in American history. It began with a series of toxic letters and ended with five people dead and 17 others sick, including my personal assistant and an NBC news intern. It was an ordeal that remains deeply painful to this day. At the time, I was putting in long hours on the air, and my personal assistant provided a kind of protective shield from distractions. One day she handled a crude, handwritten letter that had originally been opened by the intern, who found brown powder. It was a biological weapon, but a maddening three weeks passed before we knew it. The NYPD, FBI, and local health officials kept insisting that the resulting lesions on her shoulder (and the leg of the news intern) couldn’t possibly be anthrax related. In truth, they had no idea. Finally, after a physician friend cast doubt on their conclusions, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the rashes were caused by anthrax. Understandably, neither my assistant nor the intern was able to forgive authorities for being so unprepared, so ignorant, really, of what cutaneous anthrax even looked like. Fortunately another attack has not come. My assistant and the intern have also recovered, but the emotional wounds will always be with them, wounds brought on by a craven attack meant for me. That they paid the price is a guilt I will carry forever.