The White House, in an effort tamp down viral rumors, took the unusual step of releasing a statement that President Barack Obama is “alive and well.”
The terse statement comes in response to internet rumors that a charismatic, eloquent, leader who swept to power promising to take money from the petroleum industry to fund entitlement programs, had died. The White House clarified that it was, in fact, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez who passed away after a long battle with cancer.
“Some people just skim the news, or hear a snippet as they walk by the TV,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. “Anyone out there can make a mistake — it gets on Twitter, and all the sudden I’ve got 270,000 condolences in my inbox.”