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Bush senior stable, Barbara '1,000 per cent better'
[WASHINGTON] Former US president George H W Bush remained in intensive care Thursday for treatment of pneumonia but doctors expressed hope he will be moved out of an intensive care unit in "a few days", his spokesman said.
"President Bush had a good night's rest and remains in stable condition in the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.
Doctors are evaluating whether tubes inserted to help the 92-year-old former president breathe can now be removed.
And Mr Bush's 91-year-old wife Barbara, hospitalized Wednesday, is feeling "1,000 per cent better" after being treated with antibiotics and getting some rest.
The former first lady was admitted after experiencing fatigue and coughing, and ultimately diagnosed with bronchitis, the statement said.
The Bushes received a visit Wednesday from old friend James Baker, who served as secretary of state under Mr Bush, and his wife Susan, the statement said.
Mr Bush was initially hospitalised Saturday for shortness of breath, then moved to intensive care Wednesday suffering from pneumonia, highlighting concerns about his health as Donald Trump prepares to take office Friday.
Word of the Bush couple's ill health drew wishes for their speedy recovery from President Barack Obama, former president Bill Clinton and Mr Trump.
Mr Bush, who served as the nation's 41st commander-in-chief from 1989 to 1993, is the oldest of the four living former US presidents and uses a wheelchair. He has seemed frail in recent public appearances.
He will not be attending Friday's presidential inauguration.
In July 2015, Mr Bush was treated in a Maine hospital after falling and breaking a bone in his neck. The previous December he was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital for breathing problems.
He was treated at the same facility in November 2012 for bronchitis, spending nearly two months in the hospital.
George Herbert Walker Bush was born June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts to a wealthy New England political dynasty, the son of Prescott Bush, a successful banker and US senator for Connecticut.
He deferred his acceptance to Yale University in order to join the US Navy and head off to World War II, before marrying Barbara and heading to west Texas to crack into the oil business.
As a rising political star, he served in the US House of Representatives, as US ambassador to the United Nations, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming vice president to Ronald Reagan for eight years.
As president, Bush steered the United States through the end of the Cold War and drove Iraqi invasion forces out of Kuwait, only to be denied a second term over a weak economy.
Mr Bush is father to former president George W Bush (2001-2009) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who was a contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.