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Bush family quiet about ex-president's condition

By Michael Graczyk

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:37 a.m. HST, Dec 27, 2012

HOUSTON >> Former President George H.W. Bush's family sought privacy and provided no new details today about his medical condition, a day after his spokesman said he's in intensive care after being hospitalized for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said he would put out another statement "when events warrant it," citing the family's right to and desire for privacy.

Bush, 88, entered Methodist Hospital in Houston on Nov. 23 for treatment of what McGrath has described as a "stubborn" cough. He had spent about a week there earlier in November for treatment of the same condition.

It was hoped Bush would be well enough to spend Christmas at home. But while his cough improved, he developed a persistent fever. McGrath disclosed Wednesday that Bush, the oldest living former president, had been transferred to the intensive care unit Sunday and his condition was downgraded to "guarded."

"He needs to rally," McGrath said. "We continue to be cautiously optimistic."

The former president has had visits from family and friends, including longtime friend James Baker II, his former Secretary of State. Bush's daughter, Dorothy, arrived Wednesday from her home in Bethesda, Md. Other visitors have included his sons George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor.

Bush and his wife, Barbara, live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988 to succeed Reagan. Four years later, after a term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait, he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voters' concerns about the economy.

Bush was a naval aviator in World War II — at one point the youngest in the Navy — and was shot down over the Pacific. He's skydived on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House, most recently when he turned 85.

He left New England for an oil business job in West Texas in 1948. He's also been a Republican congressman from Texas, U.S. ambassador to China and CIA director.

Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility.

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64hoo wrote:
when they say a persistent fever i feel pneumonia will set in and could be the cause of his death if he dies, lets hope the antibiotics they give will help him. praying for you and your family president bush. take care and god bless you your family and america. you are a true hero to this nation.
on December 26,2012 | 03:14PM
Changalang wrote:
You were a terrific CiC and made for the job Director. I hope this is not the last time those of us who know and respect all your attributes and accomplishments off the radar get to salute you, sir. Speedy recovery and God Bless.
on December 26,2012 | 03:22PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
George H.W. and Barbara Bush are outstanding people. Bless hin and his family.
on December 26,2012 | 03:23PM
Changalang wrote:
That's why we put her on the one dollar bill. Gotta admit, the resemblance is uncanny.
on December 26,2012 | 04:51PM
joewilly wrote:
Thanks for the heads up!!
on December 27,2012 | 05:28AM
Changalang wrote:
Annuit cœptis
on December 27,2012 | 07:26AM
Changalang wrote:
In other words, The Grand Architect of the Universe approves.
on December 27,2012 | 07:47AM
ya_think wrote:
The SA writer needs to get it together he is not the Ex-President George H.W. Bush or the former president. He is President George H. W. Bush, they do not lose the title of President once they have stopped serving. Show some respect.
on December 26,2012 | 08:56PM
4watitsworth wrote:
I don't believe the writer is being disrespectful. It's totally appropriate to refer to a past president as "former" or "ex" although I personally don't like the use of "ex". The title President is still included. It makes clear that the person is a former president for those who do not know who the current President is. Yes, there are people who don't know who the current president is. All my best to former President Bush and wishes for a speedy recovery.
on December 27,2012 | 04:45AM
iwanaknow wrote:
It will be a wonder if he pulls through
on December 26,2012 | 11:20PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Get well soon Mr. Bush......
on December 26,2012 | 11:21PM
false wrote:
false3. Being 88 years old seems to be a jinx. G.H.W.Bush is a honest, decent man and president. I wish him well.
on December 27,2012 | 06:12AM
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