HOUSTON - Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been hospitalized for more than a month, is getting excellent medical treatment and would advise people to "put the harps back in the closet," his longtime Houston chief of staff said on Thursday evening.
But Jean Becker also pointed out in her statement that the 88-year-old Bush is sick and likely will be in the hospital for a while after a "terrible case of bronchitis which then triggered a series of complications."
Bush, the oldest living former president, has been in intensive care since Sunday. He was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on Nov. 23 for treatment of what spokesman Jim McGrath described as a "stubborn" cough.
Becker said "most of the civilized world" contacted her Wednesday when it was reported that Bush had been placed in the intensive care unit after physicians were having difficulty bringing a fever under control.
She said updates about Bush's condition have been limited "out of respect for President Bush and the Bush family who, like most of us, prefer to deal with health issues in privacy." She said another factor was "because he is so beloved we knew everyone would overreact."