- The Washington Times - Monday, January 16, 2006

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Former President Gerald Ford was undergoing treatment for pneumonia yesterday at the facility where he was hospitalized briefly a month ago, his chief of staff said. Mr. Ford was said to be doing well.

Mr. Ford, 92, was admitted Saturday to Eisenhower Medical Center near his home in Rancho Mirage in Southern California, spokeswoman Penny Circle said.

“Based on his age, it is prudent for his initial course of treatment — IV antibiotics — to be done at the hospital,” she said.

Mr. Ford was expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow or Thursday, the spokeswoman said.

“He’s doing very well,” she said.

Hospital spokeswoman Elizabeth Wholihan referred inquiries to Miss Circle, who said no further comment would be given until a press release is issued today.

Mr. Ford was admitted to the hospital Dec. 12 and left the next day. Miss Circle said at the time that Mr. Ford had undergone a regularly scheduled health exam but noted that he also had been battling a bad cold.

Asked whether the pneumonia was the result of any lingering effects from the cold, she said, “I don’t think so.”

The former president suffered two small strokes five years ago and spent about a week in a hospital.

Mr. Ford, a Republican, is the only U.S. president never to have been elected president or vice president. He was House minority leader when President Nixon chose him to replace Spiro Agnew as vice president in 1973 after Mr. Agnew resigned.

Mr. Ford became president on Aug. 9, 1974, when Mr. Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal. Mr. Ford lost his 1976 presidential bid.

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