Montana Senator Steve Daines visited several sites in Missoula on Friday to begin the Labor Day weekend.

He visited Hellgate Elementary School to see the remarkable Missoula, Montana based Kart Kleen system that has been modified to kill bacteria including the COVID 19 virus, on almost any surface.

Eighth grade students sent their backpacks and books through the prototype device at the school, and they came out the other side in less than 30 seconds 99.9 percent free of any bacteria.

Developer of the Kart Kleen system, Jason Gardiner, described the device and its use.

“This is our Kart Kleen, Frequency Klean Entrance Model,” said Gardiner. “This is our entrance unit, and the unit that we're that you're looking at here is to allow you to put any item and have it come through the machine, and as it comes through on the other side it's completely clean of all bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses.”

The scientist involved in the company is Bill Holben, who described how the Kart Kleen operates.

“It's based on ultraviolet light of a very specific wavelength,” said Holben. “Actually it doesn't even exist in nature. It's 254 nanometers, which is the wavelength that most damages DNA and RNA, the genetic composition of viruses and bacteria and humans. So it's highly damaging to the genome structure, and by passing an instrument like that through it, it radiates it in anything that's on the surface that's alive. Basically, it gets inactivated because it can no longer replicate itself.”

Device engineer Joe Obresley said the new company is designing several different models for use around the world.

“We currently have three different models,” said Obresley. “We have a PPE cleaning model for protective equipment and then we have a grocery cart and hospital bed cleaning model. This model here grew from where we've seen the need for our children to get back into school safely, and so we quickly switched gears and developed this unit over basically the last seven months. We've been working on this for over two years now in our design process.”

Senator Daines watched the process and spoke with students at the school as their school books and backpacks passed through the Kart Kleen system.

It's a great story. Expand the thinking in terms of whether its restaurants as well as healthcare facilities, and schools, but it's another tool in the tool chest to keep our students and their families safe.

“Not only Montana, but Missoula, Montana sourced,” said Daines. It's a great story. Expand the thinking in terms of whether its restaurants as well as healthcare facilities, and schools, but it's another tool in the tool chest to keep our students and their families safe. It's not invasive, it's safe, it basically has a very light touch and is highly effective as well.”

Daines praised the ingenuity and home-grown solution that the Kart Kleen system presents.

“First of all, you can't be more proud of the fact this is a made in Montana solution,” he said. “Literally, it was engineered and manufactured here in Montana and sourced in Montana. This is something that is easy to deploy. The science is clear. It's not invasive, and it's effective. And I think its one more tool in our tool chest here of finding ways to keep our students, teachers from their family safe. And that's the peace of mind that I know parents and students and faculty want to have.”

Following that appearance, Daines made his way to the Republican headquarters building on Reserve Street where he met with a room full of supporters.

He was asked if his campaign was using his opponent’s (Governor Bullock) statements as he was running for President about never wanting to sun for the U.S. Senate.

“He was looking right in the camera with Jake Tapper. Rachel Maddow, some of your favorite conservative commentators on CNN, MSNBC,” he joked. “He was telling the Montana press, no ifs, ands or buts, I'm not running for the Senate. But, in February he met with former President Obama in (Washington, D.C.). Then, in March, Chuck Schumer flew into Montana and met face to face, and five days later, he entered the race.”

Daines left the building and headed to the USFS Fire Headquarters out by the airport to receive a briefing on the fires burning throughout the state.

There were some protesters waiting outside the Missoula County Republican headquarters chastising Daines for not having Town Hall meetings, and a sign referencing a claim made recently that President Trump allegedly called soldiers who died in battle ‘losers’. The President has emphatically denied those allegations.

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