In addition, the man who escorted Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon on a tour of a museum did not die of swine flu, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said during a news briefing Monday.
While not told about the swine flu situation, "we have no reason to believe they withheld any information they had at the time," Gibbs said of the Mexican officials. Mexico is considered the epicenter for the swine flu outbreak, which Mexican health officials blame for at least 149 deaths.
"We did not learn about the swine flu cases in Mexico until late last week," Gibbs said. White House medical personnel asked Mexican health officials and U.S. embassy staff about any concerns on infectious disease, "and were informed that there were none," Gibbs said.
Concerning the death of Felipe Solis, curator of the National Anthropology Museum, who escorted Obama and Calderon on a tour in the week before his death, Gibbs read a statement from Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy to the United States.
"Mr. Felipe Solis ... died on April 23, a week after he welcomed presidents Obama and Calderon at the museum," Gibbs read. "He died of complications of a pre-existing condition and not of swine flu."
During a separate briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, department adviser John Brennan said the first instances of flu in Mexico was confirmed late last week.
"But to date ... the Mexican authorities have been exceptionally cooperative and forthcoming," he said.