George HW Bush has been admitted to an intensive care unit and his wife, Barbara, was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman.
The former president was admitted to the ICU at a Houston hospital on Wednesday to “address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia”, a family spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement. McGrath said the former first lady was hospitalized as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing.
George Bush was taken to the hospital over the weekend for shortness of breath. McGrath said earlier on Wednesday that the 92-year-old Bush was responding well to treatments.
The 41st president was admitted to Houston Methodist hospital on Saturday, McGrath said in an email to the Associated Press.
“Doctors and everyone are very pleased, and we hope to have him out soon,” McGrath said.
“I don’t think there’s a whole lot of money to be gained betting against George Bush,” McGrath said. “We’re just kind of in a wait-and-see mode.”
Bush’s chief of staff, Jean Becker, told the Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV that Bush was expected to go home in a couple of days.
Bush, who served as US president from 1989 to 1993, has a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility. He was hospitalized in Maine in 2015 after falling at his summer home and breaking a bone in his neck, and was hospitalized in Houston the previous December for about a week for shortness of breath. He spent Christmas 2012 in intensive care for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.
Despite the loss of mobility, Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump in Kennebunkport, Maine. Last summer, Bush led a group of 40 wounded warriors on a fishing trip at the helm of his speedboat, three days after his 92nd birthday celebration.
Bush’s office announced earlier this month that he and his wife of more than 70 years, Barbara, would not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration this week due to the former president’s age and health.
George Herbert Walker Bush, born 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, also served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice-president.
His son, George W Bush, was elected president in 2000 and served two terms. Another son, Jeb – a former Florida governor – made an unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination in 2016. Only one other US president, John Adams, had a son who also became president.