Former President George H.W. Bush Breaks Silence Following Hospitalization

Following a report that President George H.W. Bush is out of intensive care and doing "much better" than earlier this week, the former president has broken his silence on social media and thanked the people involved in the funeral of his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

"My family and I thank Mayor [Sylvester Turner], his terrific staff, [Houston Police], [METRO Houston], [Second Baptist Church Houston], [St. Martin's Daughter of the King] — and really all Houstonians — for your professionalism and obvious care in making Barbara's visitors and funeral guests feel so welcomed. Thank you all," Bush wrote.

Barbara Bush died on April 17 and was laid to rest on Saturday in Houston, Texas.

The 41st POTUS was admitted to a Houston area hospital on Sunday morning due to a blood infection, according to Bush's post-White House spokesman Jim McGrath.

"President Bush was admitted to the Houston Methodist Hospital yesterday morning after contracting an infection that spread to his blood," McGrath said at the time. "He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering. We will issue additional updates as events warrant."

Wednesday afternoon, McGrath released a statement from Bush's office that Bush was moved from intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital to a regular patient room where he is expected to cover.

"President George H.W. Bush has been moved from the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital to a regular patient room, and is expected to continue his recovery there for several more days," the release read. "He is alert and talking with hospital staff, family and friends, and his doctors are very pleased with his progress."

The former president passed on his gratitude for all those who have expressed their kind thoughts since he fell ill. He also shared a cheerful reference to the NBA Playoffs.

"President Bush naturally thanks everyone for their prayers and good wishes. He also wants to assure everyone that, as good as he feels now, he is more focused on the Houston Rockets closing out their playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves than anything that landed him in the hospital," the statement added.

At his wife's funeral, Bush appeared to break down sobbing as his son Jeb Bush read an old love letter aloud during his eulogy to his mother. The letter, dated, Jan. 6, 1994, was from Bush to Barbara.

"Will you marry me?" the former president wrote. "Oops, I forgot, we did that 49 years ago. I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I'm even happier today. You have given me joy that few men know. You have made our boys into men by balling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara's husband."

As Jeb Bush spoke, President Bush abruptly began to shake with short, convulsive sobs in his seat. He appeared to squeeze his eyes closed. His tears drew the attention of his other children sitting beside him on the pew, including former President George W. Bush.

Reporters in Texas said that President Bush found his own light-hearted way to pay tribute to his late wife's legacy.

"Aides say that President Bush 41, known for his wildly festive socks, is paying tribute to his wife today by wearing what he calls his 'book socks,'" tweeted Andrea Mitchell, NBC News correspondent. "They are described as beige with brightly colored images of books signifying Barbara Bush's life long advocacy of literacy."


President Bush has released numerous statements in mourning of his wife. Last week, he thanked the American public for the outpouring of condolences that came in the wake of her passing.

"I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact. But the truth is the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at The Enforcer is lifting us all up. We have faith she is in heaven, and we know life will go on – as she would have it. So cross the Bushes off your worry list," the statement reads.