Washington — Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 but that his symptoms were mild and he encouraged people to get vaccinated. It is the latest health scare for the 76-year-old, who was briefly hospitalized last year and has undergone several operations since 2004.
"I'm doing fine overall and keeping myself busy at home. I'm grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, which has kept my case mild, and I urge everyone to do the same, especially as we move into the winter months," Clinton wrote on Twitter.
In October 2021 Clinton spent five nights in a hospital in California for a blood infection, before walking out arm in arm with his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
In 2004, at age 58, he underwent a quadruple bypass operation after doctors found signs of extensive heart disease.
Six years later he had stents implanted in his coronary artery.
This prompted him to adopt a vegetarian diet and to speak out publicly about how his change in food consumption helped him get healthier.
"Maybe if I had... not eaten so many hamburgers and steaks, which I love, maybe if I had, you know, had slightly less stress in my life... maybe it would have been different," Clinton told ABC News in 2004 after his successful heart surgery.
Clinton led the United States for two presidential terms, from 1993-2001.
In the two decades since leaving the White House he has thrown himself into numerous humanitarian and diplomatic causes.
He traveled the world, not just to receive generous speaking fees and to attend conferences but to visit disaster areas or raise funds for the fight against AIDS.
Clinton, who once called himself "the comeback kid" during the 1992 Democratic Party primary battle, supported his wife's unsuccessful presidential campaign against Donald Trump in 2016.
Gradually his pace has slowed, and he has been traveling less in recent years.
The Clintons now live in Chappaqua, New York.
- Bill Clinton
- COVID-19 Vaccine
- Coronavirus Disease 2019
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