Former president George H. W. Bush and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, have been hospitalized in Houston.
The former president arrived at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center on Saturday with shortness of breath. On Wednesday Bush was transferred into the intensive care unit so as to "address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia," according to Bush spokesman Jim McGrath.
McGrath also wrote, "Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation." He described the former president as "resting comfortably in the ICU, where he will remain for observation." McGrath provided an update via a tweet:
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) Jan. 18, 2017
McGrath's tweet also mentioned that Barbara Bush also was admitted into Houston Methodist Hospital on Wednesday morning "as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing."
In a letter addressed to President-elect Donald Trump, Bush said that he would not attend the inauguration on Friday:
My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara. So I guess we're stuck in Texas.
But we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.
This isn't the first recent indication of Bush's health issues. A December announcement indicated that he would skip Trump's inauguration, to which all surviving former presidents and their wives had been invited, due to both his advanced age and health concerns.