Tester questions Homeland Security Secretary about swine flu’s impact on Montana


Senator Jon Tester today zeroed in on America's plans for dealing with the worldwide swine flu outbreak, only hours after the nation's first confirmed death caused by the contagious disease.

Tester praised Napolitano for her response to the outbreak so far, noting that federal, state and local governments have worked together to protect all Americans from the flu strain.

One of those things, Tester said, is identifying potential victims of swine flu as they cross America's borders.  On America's southern border with Mexico, where the disease has hit the hardest, agents are monitoring and even temporarily isolating suspected victims of the disease who want to enter the United States.

"We need to let science lead the way here and make reasonable decisions-rational decisions-based on sound science," Tester said about the possibility of temporarily closing the border.

Tester also asked about Montana's 45 rural and frontier Critical Access Hospitals, many of which are connected to nursing homes.

The U.S. confirmed its first fatal case of swine flu earlier today.  The victim was a toddler in Texas.  As of Wednesday, fewer than 100 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the United States.