Bush 41 Hospitalized for a Week; Not Life-Threatening, Says Spokesperson

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Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston since the day after Thanksgiving.

As first reported by the Houston Chronicle, Bush has been in and out of Methodist Hospital for the past few weeks, but went in November 23 for bronchitis.

"His big problem is a chronic cough. He can't get rid of so he's back at Methodist," Jean Becker, Bush's chief of staff, told the Chronicle. "This is not a life-threatening illness."

Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath told CNN that the bronchitis has been cured, but the lingering cough is what is keeping the president in the hospital. McGrath hopes Bush will be released by the weekend.

The 41st president turned 88 in June. He has been visited by his son, former President George W. Bush, and Laura Bush during his time at Methodist, according to Becker.


Statement from Methodist Hospital in Houston:

Former President George H.W. Bush's physician at The Methodist Hospital in Houston says he is recovering quickly enough to possibly be discharged from the hospital this weekend.

Dr. Amy Mynderse, an internal medicine physician in charge of his care, says the former President is sitting up, moving and walking as much as he can to help his recovery.

President Bush, 88, was admitted to Methodist originally with viral bronchitis, which was treated with intravenous steroids and antibiotics. He developed a secondary bacterial infection which has also improved.

"This was never a serious or life-threatening situation," Mynderse says. "We simply wanted to prevent the progression of the disease into pneumonia, which is possible in any patient at this age."

He is recovering from the effects of a lingering cough which caused him some discomfort. Mynderse says she is surprised at how quickly President Bush has recovered from his illness.

"He is definitely in great spirits," she says. "He is happy, joking and definitely getting better."