Tuesday, April 28, 2009 8:55 AM
The Obama administration on Tuesday staunchly defended its "passive surveillance" policy on the emerging swine flu threat, saying that its measured, cautious border monitoring makes sense.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared that more draconian enforcement steps are not yet necessary, even as she acknowledged that officials "anticipate confirmed cases in more states." She reiterated President Barack Obama's stance that people are justifiably concerned but need not be alarmed by it.
Some 50 swine flu infections have been identified so far in the United States, but no deaths. In contrast, there have been over 150 deaths in neighboring Mexico, and Asian countries deployed thermal sensors at airports to screen passengers from North America for signs of fever.
Napolitano assured network interviewers of a "very broad multi-agency federal response" and said that she and a number of Cabinet members had met into the night Monday to discuss strategy. She also the administration wouldn't wait for a World Health Organization declaration of a pandemic to deliver a pandemic-like response.