A day after the president’s former chief of staff Jean Becker urged people to “put away the harps”, his spokesman Jim McGrath has told press that Mr. Bush is in good spirits and is “singing” with doctors and nurses. McGrath said doctors are “cautiously optimistic” about the ex-president’s treatment:
“The President is alert and, as always, in good spirits – and his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing. The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes and, like their doctors, are cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective.”
George H. W. Bush, who suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease and is mostly wheelchair bound, was admitted to the Methodist Hospital in Houston on November 23 with complications caused by a bout of bronchitis. There were fears over the Christmas weekend when the ex-president was taken to intensive care with a persistent fever and placed on a liquid diet.
However, a statement from Becker on Thursday suggested the former president was recovering:
“Is he sick? Yes. Does he plan on going anywhere soon? No. He has every intention of staying put [...] He would ask me to tell you to please put the harps back in the closet.”
88-year-old George H. W. Bush was healthy enough to pay tribute to former wartime commander General “Stormin” Norman Schwarzkopf, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 78. Schwarzkopf led Coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War, a campaign that took place under Bush’s presidency. Mr. Bush described the former army general as “an American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation.” He added:
“[Norman Schwarzkopf was a] distinguished member of that ‘Long Gray Line’ hailing from West Point, Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the ‘duty, service, country’ creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises.”