President Bush will addresses the nation Thursday evening to discuss the ongoing war against terrorism. Mr. Bush will make the speech in the southern state of Atlanta where he will also tour the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the president's speech will explain what his administration is doing to counter the threat of anthrax and to secure homeland defense. Mr. Bush will say that America will never be the same after the violence of September 11 and the challenges of fighting terrorism present new responsibilities for both the government and individual citizens.
Mr. Fleischer says the president will explain the reasoning behind recent, non-specific threat alerts that have put Americans on an indefinite state of heightened security. At the same time, Mr. Bush has repeatedly encouraged Americans to get on with their normal lives.
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice says Mr. Bush will explain how these two seemingly-contradictory requests can both be fulfilled. "The president will talk to the American people about how life both changes and goes on since September 11, about the spirit of the country, about some of the things that the government has been doing on behalf of the American people to make us all safer. He will make a very clear case that the government is on the case and doing everything that it possibly can, but the American people need to continue to be vigilant."
In closing, officials say, Mr. Bush will tell Americans that threats against the country remain and he is proud of the way the nation has rallied to meet the challenge.