Barbara Bush, being treated for bronchitis at a Houston hospital, was feeling "1,000 percent better" Thursday, a family spokesman said, while her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, remained in the intensive care unit suffering from a bout of pneumonia.
The former first lady, 91, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Wednesday after experiencing fatigue and coughing, spokesman Jim McGrath said, Reuters reported. George Bush, 92, the nation's oldest living president, has been there since Saturday after experience a shortness of breath, McGrath said.
"Antibiotics and some good rest seem to have restored her to better health," McGrath added.
George Bush sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump dated Jan. 10 stating and he and his wife would not be able to attend the inauguration because of poor health.
"My doctor says I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under," Bush wrote in the letter, according to NPR. "Same for Barbara. So I guess we're stuck in Texas.
"But we will be with you in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our country," Bush continued.
The couple's son, George W. Bush, will join Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as the other living presidents who will attend the inauguration along with President Barack Obama.
Trump responded to a letter with a Twitter post, wishing the Bushes well.
Obama praised the Bushes during his final news conference as president Wednesday.
"We have been in touch with the Bush family today after hearing about President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush being admitted to the hospital this morning," Obama said. "They have not only dedicated their lives to this country, they have been a constant source of friendship and support and good counsel for Michelle and me over the years. They are as fine a couple as we know. And so we want to send our prayers and our love to them."
President Bush's hospitalization was just the latest health issue he has experienced in the past few years. In July 2015, he was taken to a hospital in Portland, Maine, after he fractured a bone in his neck in a fall at the family's summer home in Kennebunkport.
Earlier the same year he was transported by ambulance to Houston Methodist for what his spokesman called "shortness of breath" and released a week later.
Additionally, Bush was admitted to the hospital for a bronchitis-related cough in late 2012, and returned the day after Thanksgiving because of a persistent cough. He was eventually admitted to intensive care and spent nearly two months at the hospital until his release in mid-January 2013.
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