Barack Obama does not have swine flu

The White House steps in to quell fears that the president might have contracted the virus on his trip to Mexico.

Published April 27, 2009 9:40PM (EDT)

Out of all the rumors flying around as the fear over swine flu increases, the one about the president may have been the most intriguing. It seems that on his recent trip to Mexico, President Obama took a tour of the country's National Anthropology Museum with the museum's director, Felipe Solis as his guide. If you believe the British papers (and you often shouldn't), Solis died the very next day -- from "flu-like symptoms."

Now, despite the fact that Obama is clearly out of the woods in terms of the virus' incubation period, there's been a bit of a frenzy surrounding the story. And apparently the White House has had to deal with quite a few questions on the subject. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs got several asked about it several times at his press briefing on Monday, and though he repeatedly downplayed the story, the White House still felt compelled to send out this statement from the Mexican Embassy:

Mr. Felipe Solís, Director of Mexico’s National Anthropology Museum died on April 23rd, a week after he welcomed Presidents Obama and Calderón at the Museum. He died of complications of a preexisting condition and not of swine flu.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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