HOUSTON, Texas – Former president George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized, his spokesman told CNN early Wednesday morning.
Jim McGrath said that Bush has been hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday for shortness of breath.
Initially, it was believed that the 41st US president would be released from the hospital soon.
On Wednesday afternoon, McGrath announced that Bush was moved to the intensive care unit.
“Shortly after our previous report on President Bush’s condition, he was admitted to the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital to address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation. President Bush is stable and resting comfortably in the ICU, where he will remain for observation.
Additionally, Mrs. Bush was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital this morning as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing. We will provide additional updates as events warrant.”
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) January 18, 2017
Bush, who served a single-term as President from 1988 to 1992, was already not expected to attend the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, in Washington on Friday due to health concerns.
Bush sent a letter to the President-elect on January 10, apologizing for missing the ceremony, and saying that he and his wife Barbara “wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country.”
“My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara,” Bush wrote, in a letter first reported on by ABC. “So I guess we’re stuck in Texas.”
Several bouts with illness have kept the 92-year-old out of the spotlight in recent years and he has rarely made public remarks.
Previous health concerns
Bush revealed several years ago that he suffered from a form of Parkinson’s disease that left him unable to walk. He uses a wheelchair or a scooter to get around and had two other health scares in 2014 and 2015.
In December 2014, he was hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath, and the following July fell at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, breaking the C2 vertebrae in his neck.
The injury did not result in any neurological problems, his spokesman said at the time.