An 88-year-old fighter
George H.W. Bush isn't dying, longtime aide insists: Scolds media for breakingout harps
Despite recent reports that former President George H.W. Bush’s health is declining, his longtime chief of staff Jean Becker wants to assure the public that he is in good condition, urging the media to “put the harps back in the closet.”
Bush, who is the oldest living former president, has been hospitalized since late November after a bout of bronchitis lead to complications surrounding a persistent cough. On Wednesday, aides disclosed that he had been moved to Intensive Care United of The Methodist Hospital after physicians struggled to control a high fever.
"Yes, President Bush is in ICU where he is getting the best medical care in the world," Becker wrote in an email disseminated widely. "Is he sick? Yes. Does he plan on going anywhere soon? No. He has every intention of staying put.”
"Is he sick? Yes. Does he plan on going anywhere soon? No. He has every intention of staying put.”
Little has been disclosed about the details of Bush’s medical complications. “He is 88 years old, he had a terrible case of bronchitis which then triggered a series of complications,” Becker wrote. She is confident that he will remain in the hospital for “a while.”
According to an earlier statement by Bush's Houston spokesperson Jim McGrath, “the president is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family.” His family joined him on Christmas Day for takeout from Gigi’s Asian Bistro & Dumpling Bar — a standing tradition in the Bush household.
On Thursday, Bush's team released a statement quoting him mourning the death of retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. The offensive was a hallmark of Bush’s presidency.
Becker says that updates had been limited on the former president’s condition "out of respect for President Bush and the Bush family who, like most of us, prefer to deal with health issues in privacy." She also expected that people would overact “because he is so beloved.”