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Former President George HW Bush, Wife Barbara Hospitalized

  • VOA News

FILE - Former President George H. W. Bush.

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush has been moved to an intensive care unit at a Houston, Texas, hospital and is resting comfortably following a procedure to protect and clear his airway, according to family spokesman Jim McGrath. The spokesman also said Bush is stable and will remain in the ICU "for observation."

McGrath also said Bush's wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, was admitted to the same hospital on Wednesday as a precaution after "experiencing fatigue and coughing."

The 41st U.S. president was admitted on Saturday for shortness of breath. McGrath said the 92-year-old Bush experienced "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia" and that the procedure that Bush underwent required sedation.

At his final news conference Wednesday, outgoing President Barack Obama said the White House has been in touch with the Bush family. Of George and Barbara Bush, Obama said, "They have not only dedicated their lives to this country, they have been a constant source of friendship and good counsel for me and Michelle over the years." Obama also said, "They are as fine a couple as we know, and so we want to send our prayers and our love to them. Really good people.”

WATCH: Obama on former president's hospitalization

George H.W. Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to move about. He was hospitalized twice in 2014, once for pneumonia and again for shortness of breath. Bush also was hospitalized in the northeastern state of Maine in 2015 after breaking a bone in his neck at his summer home.

He served as vice president during Ronald Reagan's two terms as president before serving as president from 1989 to 1993.

The elder Bush is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Bush sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump on January 10 explaining that he and his wife, Barbara, would not attend Trump's presidential inauguration Friday due to age and health concerns. In part, the letter said the former president and former first lady "wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country."

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