Bill Clinton was released Sunday from the Southern California hospital where he had been treated for an infection and will head home to New York to continue his recovery, a spokesperson said.
The former U.S. president left the University of California Irvine Medical Center at about 8 a.m. local time with his wife, Hillary Clinton, on his arm. Dressed in jeans and a sports coat and wearing a face mask, he made his way out of the hospital slowly and stopped to shake hands with doctors and nurses lined up on the sidewalk.
He gave a thumbs-up when a reporter asked how he was feeling, and he and Hillary Clinton then got into a black SUV. They departed in a motorcade escorted by the California Highway Patrol and headed to the airport.
Clinton, 75, was admitted to the hospital southest of Los Angeles on Tuesday with an infection unrelated to COVID-19, officials said.
His spokesperson, Angel Urena, on Saturday said Clinton was receiving IV antibiotics while in hospital and that all health indicators were "trending in the right direction."
"President Clinton has continued to make excellent progress over the past 24 hours," Urena said.
"His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," Dr. Alpesh Amin, the hospital's executive director, said in a statement that Urena posted to Twitter on Sunday.
Hillary Clinton had been with her husband at the hospital. She returned with daughter Chelsea at about 8 a.m. Saturday in an SUV accompanied by secret service agents.
U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday night that he had spoken to Bill Clinton, and the former president "sends his best."
"He's doing fine; he really is," Biden said during remarks at the University of Connecticut.
Infection had spread, but no septic shock
An aide to the former president said Clinton had a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream, but he was on the mend and never went into septic shock, a potentially life-threatening condition.
The aide, who spoke to reporters at the hospital on the condition his name wasn't used, said Clinton was in an intensive care section of the hospital but wasn't receiving ICU care.
In the years since Clinton left the White House in 2001, the former president has faced health scares. In 2004, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery after experiencing prolonged chest pains and shortness of breath. He returned to the hospital for surgery for a partially collapsed lung in 2005, and in 2010 he had a pair of stents implanted in a coronary artery.
He responded by embracing a largely vegan diet that saw him lose weight and report improved health.
Clinton repeatedly returned to the stump, campaigning for Democratic candidates, most notably Hillary Clinton during her failed 2008 bid for the presidential nomination. And in 2016, as Hillary Clinton sought the White House as the Democratic nominee, her husband — by then a grandfather and nearing 70 — returned to the campaign trail.
With files from CBC News
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