Former US President Bill Clinton’s condition improves, but will remain in hospital

Former US President Bill Clinton will stay in hospital overnight, his spokesperson said on Twitter, adding that Clinton’s health indicators were “in the right direction.”

The 75-year-old man, who stepped down in 2001, entered the University of California Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday evening for the infection, according to his spokesman Angel Urena.

Mr Urena also said that his white blood cell count had dropped significantly, indicating a decline in the infection.

“In order to receive IV antibiotics, he will stay in the hospital overnight,” Urena said.

Mr. Clinton was “erect, joking and charming the hospital staff,” Urena told Reuters.

Mr Clinton went to the hospital after feeling fatigued and was diagnosed with a bloodstream infection which doctors said started as a urinary tract infection, CNN reported, citing its doctors.

Doctors for the former president, Alpesh Amin and Lisa Bardack, said he was “admitted to hospital for close monitoring and given him antibiotics and IV fluids”.

“He remains in the hospital for continuous monitoring,” they said in a statement. “After two days of treatment, his white blood cell count tends to drop and he responds well to antibiotics.”

They added: “We hope he will return home soon.”

CNN cited doctors as saying Mr. Clinton was in the intensive care unit primarily to give him privacy.

Mr. Clinton, a Democrat who served as president from 1993 to 2001, has had health issues in the past, including a quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and a procedure in 2010 to open a blocked artery in his heart with two stents. CNN reported that Mr. Clinton’s current hospital stay was unrelated to his heart problems.

The former governor of Arkansas came to the White House defeating incumbent Republican George HW Bush and served during a period of acute partisanship in Washington, a harbinger of the current bitter political state.

He was re-elected in 1996 against Republican Senator Bob Dole.

Mr. Clinton endured deadly political battles with Republicans. He was impeached in 1998 by the Republican-led House of Representatives over his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but remained in office when the Senate acquitted him in 1999.

He is known for a remarkable knack for building relationships with people and an exceptional understanding of political issues.

Mr. Clinton turned into a political husband after stepping down when his wife Hillary Clinton was elected US Senator from New York in 2000. She unsuccessfully sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and won the nomination in 2016, but lost the election to Donald Trump even though it received nearly three million more votes.

Updated: October 15, 2021, 10:53 PM

Kevin E. Boling