Orange, Calif. (AP) — Bill Clinton arrived at his home in New York on Sunday to recover from an infection that left him undergoing treatment for six days at a Southern California hospital, officials said.
The former president walked out of the University of California Irvine Medical Center at around 8 a.m. with Hillary Clinton in her arms. Dressed in jeans and a sports coat and wearing a face mask, he slowly exited the hospital and stopped to shake hands with the doctors and nurses standing on the sidewalk.
When a reporter asked how he was feeling, he gave a thumbs-up and he and Hillary Clinton rode in a black SUV. They left in a convoy escorted by the California Highway Patrol and headed for the airport.
Dr. Alpesh N. “Bill Clinton’s “fever and white blood cell count have returned to normal, and he will return to New York to complete a course of antibiotics,” Amin said in a statement shared on Twitter by Clinton’s spokesperson.
Clinton, 75, was admitted to Southeastern Hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday with an infection related to COVID-19. He reached his home in Chappaqua, New York on Sunday evening to recover.
Spokesperson Angel Ureena said on Saturday that Clinton would remain hospitalized until at least Sunday so she could receive more antibiotics. But all health indicators were “moving in the right direction,” Ureena said.
Hillary Clinton was in the hospital with her husband and daughter Chelsea was with them on Saturday.
President Joe Biden said Friday night that he had spoken to Bill Clinton, and that the former president “did his best.”
“He’s doing fine; he really is,” Biden said during remarks at the University of Connecticut.
An aide to the former president said Bill Clinton had a urinary infection that spread to his bloodstream, but he was cured and never went into septic shock, which is potentially life-threatening.
The aide, who spoke to reporters at the hospital on condition that his name was not used, said Clinton was in the hospital’s intensive care section but was not receiving ICU care.
In the years since Clinton left the White House in 2001, the former president has faced a health scare. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 after prolonged chest pain and shortness of breath. He returned to the hospital in 2005 for surgery for a partially collapsed lung, and in 2010 he had a pair of stents placed in the coronary artery.
He responded by adopting a largely vegetarian diet, which led to his weight loss and improved health.
Clinton repeatedly returned to the stump, campaigning for Democratic candidates, most notably Hillary Clinton during her unsuccessful 2008 bid for the presidential nomination. And in 2016, as Hillary Clinton sought the White House as the Democratic nominee, her husband — by then a grandfather and close to 70 — returned to the campaign trail.
Associated Press journalist Olga R. Lou Keston in Rodriguez, Washington, and Joseph Frederick in Chappaqua, New York, contributed to this report.