With ‘The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11’ delving deep into the fear that gripped the nation back in 2001, we get a complete insight into the notions of terrorism as well as bioterrorism. That’s because this documentary features not just first-hand accounts but also dramatic recreations to chart the complex investigation into the havoc caused by letters containing anthrax spores. So, of course, there’s a significant focus on once-suspected perpetrator Steven Hatfill — now, if you wish to learn more about him, his experiences, and his current standing, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Steven Hatfill?
Although born in Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 24, 1953, Steven Jay Hatfill was primarily raised alongside a younger sister in the wonderous city of Mattoon right in Coles County, Illinois. He thus graduated from Mattoon Senior High School in 1971 before earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southwestern College in 1975, only to then enlist in the Army as a private for two years. However, since he’d resolved to become a medical doctor by the time 1978 rolled around, he soon relocated to Africa to study at the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine in Salisbury, Rhodesia.
Steven actually spent 14 months at an Antarctic research base as the resident physician upon completing his initial training, but he realized he still wasn’t satisfied after he returned to Africa. He hence pursued two or three more Master’s degrees in the field of Sciences before trying to obtain a Ph.D. from Rhodes University, yet his final thesis was ultimately marked as failed (1995). He made his way back into the US around this same time and later claimed to have finished his doctorate in Molecular Cell Biology — some other aspects of his resume were beefed up as well.
Therefore, it was in 1997 that Steven was hired as a civilian researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, just to be let go less than two years later. He’d honestly already established a name for himself in the field, so it wasn’t strange for him to be transferred to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for a consulting job in 1999. However, according to the Netflix production, he’d once been “fired for violating lab procedures,” and then he couldn’t even pass security clearance when he tried to land a contracting job.
A mere month later, the anthrax attacks began, leading many to suspect Steven because he was more than qualified as a physician, pathologist, virologist, and biological weapons expert. The fact he was actually in Britain and Florida, respectively, around the time two letters with fake anthrax were mailed from these precise locations did not help his situation in any manner either. Nor did the fact he’d already gone through a major anthrax outbreak while he was in Africa in the 1970s — he was thus considered a lead suspect for years, that is until the focus shifted to Bruce Ivins.
Where is Dr. Steven Hatfill Now?
Since Dr. Steven’s properties were repeatedly raided, his cellphone was tapped, and he was surveilled for at least two years, he filed a privacy infringement lawsuit against the Justice Department in 2003. This case was settled quietly in 2008, with him receiving a total of $5.8 million as compensation (a lump sum plus an annuity of $150,000 a year for 20 years), enabling him to return to his ordinary life again. We should mention he was also officially exonerated, and so he has since seemingly been dividing his time between Washington as well as Florida to get back on his feet.
From what we can tell, Steven currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in two departments of George Washington University Medical Center, is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club, and is even a Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. As if that’s not enough, the former Medical Director of EFP Tactical Medical Group is also a Board Member for several non-profit medical organizations and has co-authored the bestselling book on the influenza pandemic, ‘Three Seconds Until Midnight’ (2019).
It’s imperative to mention that Dr. Steve became a COVID advisor to the Trump Administration at the White House in early 2020, soon after which he even backed the former President’s attempt to overturn the election results.