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US Health and Human Services Secretary and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson resigned his post on Friday, evidently due to nerves. Apparently, the high-strung Thompson is surprised to be alive, and believes that we're all living on borrowed time.

"For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do," he said, puzzled by his own survival to date.

"We are importing a lot of food from the Middle East, and it would be easy to tamper with that," he added, exhibiting a decided lack of imagination in contemplating the geographic distribution of angry jihadists.

Thompson also fretted much about a flu pandemic that he believes is on the way, perhaps as soon as next year. He is best known for confusing the public over the relative dangers posed by the October, 2001 anthrax letters circulating about Washington, and for delaying a long-needed recall of the drug Vioxx, which has killed far more Americans than anthrax.

On the plus side, Thompson did not embrace the Bush Administration's slavish appeasement of Big Pharma regarding the importation of foreign drugs, although he did knuckle under in regard to stem cell research. Overall, he is unlikely to be missed, although there is little danger that his successor will become a popular favourite. The President is said to be leaning towards Mark McClellan, the doctor brother of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. ®

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