Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is shown on the sidelines before an NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills where he served as honorary captain on military service appreciate day on Sunday, November 4, 2012, in Houston, Texas. (George Bridges/MCT via Getty Images)
By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI / Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) -- Former President George H.W. Bush will spend Christmas in a Houston hospital after developing a fever and weakness following a monthlong, bronchitis-like cough.
Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath said Monday that doctors remain "cautiously optimistic" the 88-year-old former president will recover, but they want to keep him in the hospital.
A hospital spokesman had said last week that doctors expected Bush to be released in time to spend Christmas at home.
McGrath says Bush came down with a fever last week, and doctors are also trying to balance his medications and help him regain strength. McGrath says Bush has largely overcome the painful, lingering cough that initially brought him to Methodist Hospital on Nov. 23.
McGrath says he does not know what caused the fever or the weakness.