Former Pres. George H.W. Bush in ICU; wife Barbara Bush also hospitalized

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Former US President George H. W. Bush applauds during an event in the East Room of the White House July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. US President Barack Obama hosted former US President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush to honor the 5000th Daily Point of Light Award which is a program started in response to Bush's call for volunteerism. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

HOUSTON — A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says Bush has been admitted to the intensive care unit at Houston’s Methodist Hospital to address a respiratory problem from pneumonia.

Spokesman Jim McGrath says Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, also has been hospitalized as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing.

McGrath says the 92-year-old former president was placed under sedation for a procedure to protect and clear his airway. He is stable and resting comfortably. He has been in the hospital since Saturday.

Barbara Bush is 91. The couple marked their 72nd wedding anniversary on Jan. 6.

Bush, who served a single term as President from 1989 to 1993, was already not expected to attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington on Friday due to health concerns.

Bush sent a letter to the President-elect on January 10, apologizing for missing the ceremony and saying that he and Barbara “wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country.”

“My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same for Barbara,” Bush wrote, in a letter first reported by ABC News. “So I guess we’re stuck in Texas.”

Several bouts with illness have kept the 92-year-old out of the spotlight in recent years and he has rarely made public remarks.

Previous health concerns

Bush revealed several years ago that he suffered from a form of Parkinson’s disease that left him unable to walk. He uses a wheelchair or a scooter to get around and had two other health scares in 2014 and 2015.

In December 2014, he was hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath, and the following July fell at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, breaking the C2 vertebrae in his neck.

The injury did not result in any neurological problems, his spokesman said at the time.