We are 41 days into the Gulf oil spill crisis. With the exception of war coverage, I can't recall a major story that after 41 days was still getting bigger. Brushfires enter a containment phase. Hurricanes quickly turn into tropical storms after coming ashore. Earthquake aftershocks generally become smaller. In the Gulf of Mexico, however, the amount of oil, the amount of damage, and the amount of frustration grow larger every single day. This morning on Meet the Press White House Energy Advisor Carol Browner told David Gregory, "This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we've ever faced in this country." Exactly when we crossed that ugly threshold is anybody's guess. The milepost we're more eager to pinpoint is the day the oil is finally stopped, and when we can start measuring this story by the amount of oil recovered from the sea.
Today we were given something more to worry about. Health effects. The government is quietly mobilizing a medical response to what it fears could be growing health problems related to all that oil in the water, as well as what it is putting into the air and soil.
We are again tonight devoting a lot of time to this disaster, and will cover the health angle as well as detail BP's next and high-risk attempt to cap the leak.
I hope you can join us tonight on NBC Nightly News.