Energy security detail contracted flu in Mexico

April 30, 2009

Updated H1N1 postS
Flu Timeline: Secretary Chu Security detail
What happened to “Energy Secretary Chu’s lead security detail”?

The trip that Gibbs said on (4-27) “no warning or caution given” & “president’s health was never in danger”  & that “nobody traveling with him had shown any symptoms” resulted in a “flu-like illness” in Dept of Energy Security Detail that tested “probable” for swine flu. His family also contracted the same flu and all have since recovered. In fact, he is back at work.

Technically it is not the Swine flu at all. It is a genetic variant to Influenza A categorized as H1N1 virus. And it has nothing to do with eating pork. The poor pig farmers are getting devastated like the tomato growers.

So we’re supposed to believe that a man goes into a whorehouse where the occupants have been exposed and some treated for gonorrhea and a day later when he develops pus in the offending area – he’s just going to test “probable” for the same strain of gonorrhea.

So in light of this development – Gibbs gave the timeline just now of the man’s illness (another post)- they probably knew about it on Monday. Here’s the rest of just the relevant quotes from Monday’s press briefing. See if you can count the “I don’t knows” and “I’ll check” and sarcastic whines.


Q Following up from yesterday’s briefing here, sort of what did you know and when did you know it — the first case in Mexico was apparently either reported, or the first death was — I’m not sure — April 12th. The President was there about five days later. Did our team learn of this during the advance or in the course of the visit?

MR. GIBBS: I’m not aware that we learned until I think earlier last week. That’s what I — that’s what I’ve been told and I will double-check on that.

Q So there was no warning or caution given

MR. GIBBS: Not prior to the trip, no.

Hear that? ‘Not prior’ to leaves open ‘subsequent to’ – he knew.


Q A quick follow to what Bill asked about Mexico. The fact that the administration was not told about what had been going on in Mexico when you got there, is there any concern the Mexican government was not truthful? Or is it that it hadn’t been — the whole thing had not been formulated yet, so maybe they didn’t have all the information?

MR. GIBBS: Without speculating on what the situation might have been, it’s hard for me to guess. I said this yesterday, and there’s certainly been no change in that — that the President’s health was never in any danger.


Then comes the sarcasm. And of course it has been hampered. Sebelius hadn’t even started a game and she’s called in in the bottom of the 9th nobody out.

Q Robert, two questions — a quick follow on Jake’s question. So your response hasn’t been hampered at all by not having an HHS Secretary, by having an acting HHS —

MR. GIBBS: I mean, I’m happy to respond to something that you think might have hampered that response.

How about spending precious time trying to confirm a tax cheat, which resulted in the delay of the confirmation of the replacement tax cheat?


Q It doesn’t — it’s not a concern at all to the administration that you don’t have your person there and then they don’t have their people there? Not at all?

Whoever asked this question asked a second about Air Force One and Gibbs didn’t bother answering the first about HHS.

Does the press ever read these things to see how few questions get answered. And how often does he actually get back to them? Is it a way to stay off official record. I don’t think I’ve read or watched more than ten of these and each time he says “I don’t know” as a means of not answering. Does the press care how ridiculous they look? He’s done this in every briefing I’ve watched or read.


Then there’s policy questions about public health crises. More evasion.

Q What — just to go back to the questions — the earlier questions about the economic effect, you said there were discussions here. At what level —

MR. GIBBS: Well, it was simply raised in one of the meetings — I forget which one I was in –– that simply a discussion that it was something that should be noted. That’s why, again, there’s — we’ll ask Treasury for more on their group, but just that the NEC and the CEA are monitoring.

Q Was it one of the meetings where the President was present?

MR. GIBBS: I don’t believe it was, but I can go back and check my notes.

Why isn’t he ever prepared? And where does he keep these notes? Why doesn’t he carry them with him?


Here he directly denies any government staffer showing any symptoms, which we now know is not true. The out? The unknown flu staffer traveled back commercial and didn’t fly Air Force One on the way there.

Q Robert, a follow-up on that. What was — can you clear up what the President’s contact was with Felipe Solis, the gentleman who died the day after? And we’re hearing that he could have —

MR. GIBBS: Let me balance the — let me balance exactly what Peter said. I’ve got no information on that. Again, I’m going to repeat what I’ve now said any number of times: Having talked to the doctors directly about this, the President’s health was never in danger. The President, nor anybody that I know of traveling with him in either a governmental or press capacity has shown any symptoms that would denote cause for any concern.


Q Understanding that, what was his contact, though, with Felipe Solis? Can you clear that up?

MR. GIBBS: I have not talked to anybody about that.

Q Did this man actually escort the President in Mexico City? No, seriously, it is a —

It’s been 11 days and he doesn’t know?

Here comes the sarcasm. He’s like a 6th grader who knows nothing and his fellow students don’t care and the teacher is more than happy for him to entertain them so they can’t learn anything either. And, yes, his sarcasm is more wicked to the women. Listen to how he uses her name to put her in her spot. Part of that Southern Charm to go along with the bright pink sweaty forehead when he lies.

MR. GIBBS: No, I am serious, but, April, if I didn’t know the answer to the previous question, extrapolating on the follow-up is going to be hard for me to provide information, based on the fact that the basis of the previous question I didn’t have any information to answer it.

And whose fault is that? Not April’s.


Q Was the President in the room with this gentleman?

Q I can ask you one —

MR. GIBBS: Okay, and I will check on it. Again, it’s hard for me to go three levels down when — sorry.


Now whoever Major is he knows Gibbs’ game but he still lets him off. He asks a question where there is video proof of barry and Solis in proximity. It was the 16th and the day of this press briefing is the 27th. It’s been 11 days. Solis died on the 23th [They’re saying he died the next day but he did not. Several sources including the said the 23rd] so 4 days since he died – a man with proximity to barry – a man who supposedly gave barry a tour of his museum – a man both sides had to have known would shake hands with each other – and Gibbs doesn’t know how close the man was to barry? Why does he have a job if he is that – to put it bluntly – stupid and/or lazy? What does he do that he has to check on all this? barry’s somewhat of a friend – where’s his natural concern and curiosity for barry and by extension himself and his family since he’s so close to barry? Sorry folks. Doesn’t wash. He’s just evading go on historical record.

MAJOR: I understand this is a fluid situation, Robert. You may not have the answers right now, but if you could take these questions if you don’t and get back, I’d appreciate it.

MR. GIBBS: Sure.

Q Is the White House actively curious about Mr. Solis and the cause of his death? He did — he wasn’t — he was next to the President. He was there. There is video of him on the 16th.

MR. GIBBS: Let me — let me check. Let me check.

Q Can you really come back to us? I mean, it’s a serious question.

MR. GIBBS: I will check.

Q This man possibly died from swine flu.

Q Well, we don’t know yet.

Q We don’t know, but we’ve been hearing the reports constantly, and he possibly had contact with the President the day before — that’s a real question.

Is April a Yankee? More sarcasm. Again her name while he scolds someone who asked a question he should 100% know the answer to and is lying about not knowing it. Finally found transparency in the WH – he’s a transparent liar.

MR. GIBBS: A real question that I said five minutes ago that I would try to find out, April. I haven’t forgotten.

Q — curious if it’s pursuing to try to find out some more information about the situation.

You go girl. Now remember he knows the staffer has “flu-like symptoms” and that Solis had “flu-like symptoms” but he needs to still check. And more nastiness. Why is he so defensive folks? You don’t even need to see his face to tell he’s lying. If he didn’t know or it was unreasonable for him to know then he would just say no. Instead there is an emotional reaction = lie.

MR. GIBBS: I will certainly check. Again, but let me — hold on, but let me — I said this the other day, I’m going to try not to take it personally that giving an answer on the seventh time has yet to break through. So let me try an eighth. I specifically asked somebody on my staff to speak directly with the doctors of the President of the United States of America, ask them if they were at all concerned. They said, no. The President, as I mentioned yesterday and on many other previous occasions, has not exhibited any symptoms that would require that to be of concern.

So while I will check individually on your question, I think it’s important to understand, for the eighth time, that there’s no medical concern for the President.

Testy = discomfort = lie.


Q In previous administrations, and I assume in this one, advance trips for the President — wherever the President is going to go, medical teams go out with specific medical questions: the personnel who are going to be on-site with the President is going to be, and the larger medical — or air quality, or any type of medical concerns where the President is going to be.

Were these teams dispatched to Mexico? Were questions asked about swine flu, do you know? And did you get any response from the Mexican officials either about what the President was likely to encounter, or possibly would encounter?

MR. GIBBS: I will ask. Without — and maybe I shouldn’t do this. Im not entirely sure that somebody would have asked about that given the timing. But let me —

Q The President arrived on the 16th, and as Bill reported, the first case was documented on April 12th. So it’s possible that within that environment —

MR. GIBBS: Let me find that out. But again —

Q But again, it could have been asked.

11 days later and he doesn’t know these things? Sarcasm alert. Listen for the same qualifier as before.

MR. GIBBS: I’m going to go for number nine.

MR. GIBBS: I understand. I understand. But let’s — for purposes of the previous question, I just, again — boy, I’m glad I’m not a public health spokesman. Let me just this one more time. The doctors have informed me, based on my personal curiosity, knowing of yours, that the President’s health was never in any danger; that he has not exhibited any symptoms; neither has anybody traveling with him; neither has any of the press that traveled with him that I’m aware of exhibited any symptoms that would cause some reason for concern.

No concern now if the man is back to work and his family is fine. And see how his answer has evolved? He didn’t know, he would check, he personally sent someone to ask and now he himself asked because of personal curiosity. Now we’re getting somewhere. He has kids you’d bet he’d personally ask. That’s as close to the truth as you’re gonna get, Unless he spills the beans they aren’t getting anything else.

Q Major’s question is not getting at that. There’s a lot of speculation —

MR. GIBBS: No, no, no, no, no, no —

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Q — that the Mexican government was withholding information from the United States.

MR. GIBBS: I’m not — Chuck, hold on, let me —

Q I’m asking a question —

MR. GIBBS: No, no, no — no, no, no — and I’m —

Q His health is not what we’re asking about.

More sarcasm. More I don’t know I’ll check.

MR. GIBBS: No, no, I’m trying to balance what somebody previously asked about concern and panic, okay — so I’m reiterating that answer as a larger global answer while I check on the other questions. Guys, I — my ears work fine. I will check on the questions, all right.

Don’t tell me, let me guess — go ahead.

Q I am not going to ask about the President’s health….

And they didn’t.

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