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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Bill Clinton recovering from urinary infection, aide says

by Stephanie Dizio and Lou Kesten

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Bill Clinton will remain hospitalized overnight after recovering from a urinary infection. But a spokesman said on Friday he was doing better and in good spirits.

“All health indicators are headed in the right direction, with their white blood count significantly decreasing,” spokeswoman Angel Ureena said in a statement.

Ureena said Clinton, 75, would stay overnight at the University of California Irvine Medical Center so she could receive more intravenous antibiotics.

“President Clinton is still in excellent spirits, and she is deeply grateful for the excellent care she is receiving and the well wishes people have sent from America and around the world,” the statement said.

An aide to the former president said Clinton was in the intensive care section of the hospital, although she was not receiving ICU care.

The aide, who spoke to reporters at the hospital on condition that his name was not used, did not elaborate on the reason Clinton was in the ICU. He said Clinton had a urinary infection that had spread to her bloodstream, but she is recovering and never went into septic shock, which is potentially life-threatening.

The aide said Clinton was in good spirits juggling books and watching TV coverage about his hospitalization. Hillary Clinton was with him in the hospital, although his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was not. There was no immediate word on any timeline for his release.

President Joe Biden said during remarks at the University of Connecticut on Friday that he had spoken to Clinton and that the former president “sent his best.”

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“We are all thinking about President Clinton today,” he said. “He’s always been the comeback kid.”

Later, Biden told reporters that Clinton “is not in any serious condition” and is “coming out soon.”

Clinton was hospitalized Tuesday evening for what Ureena described only as a non-COVID-19-related infection.

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 implanted in a coronary artery.

He responded by adopting a largely vegetarian diet, which led to his weight loss and improved health.

He repeatedly returned to the stump, campaigning for Democratic candidates, most notably his wife, Hillary, during an unsuccessful bid for the 2008 presidential nomination. And in 2016, when Hillary Clinton sought the White House as the Democratic nominee, Bill Clinton — by then a grandfather and close to 70 — returned to the campaign trail.

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said the former president was in the Los Angeles area for private events related to his charitable organization. UCI Medical Center is in Orange County, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Los Angeles.


Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed from Hartford, Connecticut. Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe contributed from Washington and Robert Jablon from Los Angeles.

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