George H.W. Bush now in ICU; wife Barbara Bush also hospitalized

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2009 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush arrive for a ceremony to dedicate an expanded gallery that carries his name at the National Museum of the Pacific War, in Fredericksburg, Texas. Barbara Bush is celebrating her 91st birthday with her family in Maine. She and former President George H.W. Bush are being joined by family members including their son, former President George W. Bush, to help her celebrate on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, have both been hospitalized. Bush’s chief of staff says the 92-year-old is “fine” and expected to go home in a few days.

Bush chief of staff Jean Becker tells the Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV that the 41st president was recently admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital after becoming ill. “He’s there. He’s fine and he’s doing really well,” Becker told the Chronicle. On Wednesday afternoon, news surfaced that Barbara was also taken to the hospital for fatigue and excessive coughing.

Jan. 20, 1989 -- George H. W. Bush is sworn in as the 41st president of the United States by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. First Lady Barbara Bush holds the Bible for her husband as his predecessor, President Ronald Reagan looks on. (AP file)
Jan. 20, 1989 — George H. W. Bush is sworn in as the 41st president of the United States by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. First Lady Barbara Bush holds the Bible for her husband as his predecessor, President Ronald Reagan looks on. (AP file)

Becker did not specify the reason the oldest living U.S. president was hospitalized. Both media outlets said his office expects him to go home in a couple of days. Becker did not immediately return email or telephone calls to her office from The Associated Press.

Bush, who served as U.S. 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.

See also: George H.W. Bush now in ICU; wife Barbara Bush also hospitalized

Despite the loss of mobility, he celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump in Kennebunkport. 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.

His office announced earlier this month that Bush and his wife, Barbara, would not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration this week due to the former president’s age and health.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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