George H.W. Bush, wife hospitalized

Washington, Jan 19 (IANS) Former US President George H.W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, have both been hospitalized, media reports said.Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath told CNN that the 41st President has been hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday, and later said in a statement the the cause was "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation"."President Bush is stable and resting comfortably," the hospital said, adding that he will remain in the ICU for observation.Barbara Bush also was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning as a precaution after "experiencing fatigue and coughing," McGrath said in the statement.President Barack Obama offered best wishes to George and Barbara Bush on Wednesday during his final press conference as head of state, Efe news reported."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," Obama said. "They are as fine a couple as we know. And so we want to send our prayers and our love to them."Bush began to experience health problems in 1991, about mid-way through his Presidential term, when he was briefly hospitalized for heart arrhythmia and diagnosed with a thyroid condition.Though his Parkinson's disease forces him to use a wheelchair, the former President celebrated turning 90 in June 2014 by going skydiving, as he did for his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays.