By Fred Barbash and Brian Murphy
Former president George H.W. Bush was under observation at an intensive care unit in Houston on Wednesday after being treated for an “acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia,” according to a statement from his office.
The update described the 92-year-old Bush as “stable and resting comfortably” at Houston Methodist Hospital, but gave no details on how long the former president could remain under medical attention. At the same hospital, former first lady Barbara Bush was also admitted Wednesday as a “precaution” after experiencing fatigue and coughing, a separate statement said.
The former president was taken to the hospital Saturday for shortness of breath, and doctors performed a procedure to “protect and clear his airway,” the statement said. Bush was under sedation during the medical intervention, it added.
In a tweet, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath wrote that he has “responded very well to treatments.” McGrath added: “Hope to have him out soon.”
The Houston Chronicle, quoting Jean Becker, Bush’s chief of staff, said the former president was “fine” and “doing really well” after falling ill recently. She told KHOU in Houston that the nation’s oldest living former president was in stable condition.
Bush is famously tough and resilient for a man of his age, despite having a form of Parkinson’s disease and having suffered from Graves’s disease, a thyroid ailment, during his presidency.
The 41st president fell at his Kennebunkport, Maine, home in July 2015, breaking a bone in his neck. He recovered relatively quickly.
In December 2014, he was hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath.
And in 2012, he was admitted for a bronchitis-related cough, spending two months at the hospital, some of it in intensive care.
KHOU said more information would be released later Wednesday.
“Doctors and everyone are very pleased,” McGrath also told The Post in an email.