George H.W. Bush Has Been Hospitalized In Maine & Is Expected To Return Home Soon
For the second time after his wife Barbara died, former president George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized. According to his spokesperson and his chief of staff, he was admitted to Southern Maine Health Care on Sunday for low blood pressure and fatigue.
"He will likely remain there for a few days of observation," his spokesperson, Jim McGrath, said in a statement shared to Twitter. "The former president is awake and alert, and not in any discomfort."
Bush has long spent his summers in Maine. According to CNN, he has been in the state since May 20.
This medical event marks the latest in a recent string of hospital visits for the former president. Just last month, Bush was admitted to intensive care for what turned out to be an infection that spread to his blood. That time around, he was hospitalized just a day after attending his wife's funeral. He spent time in intensive care and was released on May 4.
Additionally, Bush has also been treated for a series of breathing-related medical issues in the last few years. In August, he received treatment for pneumonia and chronic bronchitis; eight months before that, he had a separate bout of pneumonia.
The former president also has vascular parkinsonism, a rare disease that presents symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
When he was last in the hospital, McGrath told Bloomberg that the 41st president was intent on getting well and traveling up to Kennebunkport, Maine. "He's the most goal-oriented person on this planet," McGrath told the news outlet.
"Quite moved by this announcement by @MethodistHosp," Bush tweeted on May 3, referencing an announcement that the hospital would be naming its atrium after him and his wife. "The atrium is beautiful, but recent developments notwithstanding I have not taken up residence here. The doctors, nurses and support staff are so nice, but the second I get the green light I’m outta here."
Though perhaps best known by younger people as a former president, Bush's political career far exceeded his single term as the head of state. In total, he served in the federal government for 12 years. His first position was as vice president to Ronald Reagan, a post he filled from 1981 to 1989. Only after that was he elected president, a role he filled from 1989 to 1993. He lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton in 1992.
Of course, Bush wasn't the only person in his family to occupy the Oval office. His son George W. Bush won his own presidential bid just after Clinton's term, becoming the 43rd president of the United States. Unlike his father, he would serve two terms. Another one of George H.W. Bush's sons, Jeb, was a two-term governor of Florida, serving 1999 to 2007.
The Washington Post reports that Bush is currently the longest living president. According to the paper, he surpassed Gerald Ford last November.
When his wife, Barbara Bush, died last month, stories of their marriage dominated much of the mourning. In total, the pair were married for 73 years — the longest marriage in presidential history. The pair met when they were only teenagers, both in Massachusetts. George H.W. and Barbara Bush married at the ages of 20 and 19, respectively.
After her death, the elder President Bush was described as "brokenhearted." He is 93 years old; Barbara Bush was 92.
Prior to his hospitalization this weekend, the former president reportedly celebrated Memorial Day weekend at a pancake breakfast with veterans at an American Legion in Maine. "I guess he partied too hard with the American Legion yesterday," Jean Becker, his chief of staff, wrote in an email to Bush's family and friends, according to CNN. "Darn it."