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Ailing George H.W. Bush, wife, showing improvement

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HOUSTON (AP) — Doctors removed former President George H.W. Bush’s breathing tube on Friday and he was breathing well on his own at a Houston hospital, his spokesman said.

The tube was inserted Wednesday while the 92-year-old former president was being treated for pneumonia. Bush remains in intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital but is comfortable, family spokesman Jim McGrath said.

“He was extubated this morning, and is breathing well on his own with minimal supplemental oxygen,” McGrath said. “President Bush is comfortable and watching inauguration coverage together with Mrs. Bush, their son Neil and daughter-in-law Maria.”

Former first lady Barbara Bush also remained hospitalized Friday for treatment of bronchitis, but she’s feeling better and “focusing on spending time with her husband,” McGrath said. The 91-year-old is expected to remain in the hospital over the weekend as a precaution.

Their son, former President George W. Bush, offered thanks on Instagram on Thursday for all the messages “of love and support for Mother and Dad.”

“Your prayers are working: 41 and Mom are doing much better today and fighting on,” he said in his first public comments about their illnesses.

The younger Bush and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush, were at President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

Trump and former President Bill Clinton have sent their well wishes earlier this week via Twitter, and Barack Obama offered similar thoughts earlier this week at his farewell presidential news conference.

The Bushes were married Jan. 6, 1945, and their 72-year marriage is the longest of any presidential couple in American history.

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