Skip to comments.White House Has Been Told That Former President Ronald Reagan's Health Has Deteriorated
Posted on 06/05/2004 9:34:42 AM PDT by Happy2BMe
Former President Ronald Reagan's health has deteriorated, the White House has been told. The White House was informed that the 93-year-old former president's health had changed significantly in the past several days, a person familiar with Reagan's condition said Saturday.
Reagan has been out of the public eye since disclosing a decade ago that he had Alzheimer's disease. He has lived longer than any other U.S. president.
Rumors about Reagan's health arose Friday and his office in California said it had received more than 300 calls over the past two days.
"He's 93 years old. He's had Alzheimer's disease for 10 years. There are plenty of rumors. When there is something significant to report I will do so," the Reagan family's chief of staff, Joanne Drake, told The Associated Press on Saturday.
White House officials also checked on Reagan's health Friday. The White House was told his health has deteriorated and "the time is getting close," according to the person familiar with Reagan's health, who did not want to be identified out of sensitivity to the family. "It could be weeks. It could be months."
Reagan's condition has changed significantly for the worse in the past several days, this person said.
News about Reagan's health came as President Bush arrived in the French capital, the second stop on his trip to Europe.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan, at a fund-raiser last month for human embryonic research, described the toll that Alzheimer's has taken on her husband.
"Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him," she said. "Because of this I'm determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain. I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this."
Nancy Reagan and others believe the use of stem cells from embryos could lead to cures for such illnesses as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Such research is generally opposed by political conservatives and many anti-abortion groups because it involves the destruction of days-old human embryos. President Bush signed an executive order in 2001 limiting research to existing embryonic stem cell lines.
Reagan celebrated his birthday Feb. 6 in seclusion at his Los Angeles home. The nation's 40th chief executive, who broke his hip in a fall at his home in 2001, has rarely been seen in public since his poignant letter announcing he had the memory-sapping disease.
In that note on Nov. 5, 1994, Reagan said, "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."
Wonderful journey ping!
God bless President Reagan. We freedom-lovers will mis him.
Very well said, dear sir.
Aw, geeze.....here come the water works again. The picture is heart wrenching.
I got to shake his hand once when he was running for governor of California. Very powerful charisma.........
"His spirit will continue to live on in those of us who appreciated the great deeds he accomplished on behalf of all American's."
I'm sure the past decade has been sheer hell, Nancy, but the Ronald Reagan I know and love was no cannibal.
This is sooo sad. I love that president. He was the first president I ever voted for! I was sooo proud of voting for him twice.
How do you tell a communist? Well, it?s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It?s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
My father died of Alzheimers (I know, I know - no one dies from Alzheimers, technically, so I'll say he died of pneumonia he wouldn't have had but for the Alzheimers). In his case, it was obvious when the end was near, as I suspect it is with President Reagan. Although we will miss his humor, his noble character, there's some comfort in knowing that he soon will be released from the awful prison this disease has made of his mind and body.
At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He felt he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore "the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism."
On February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. He attended high school in nearby Dixon and then worked his way through Eureka College. There, he studied economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays. Upon graduation, he became a radio sports announcer. A screen test in 1937 won him a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades he appeared in 53 films.
As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan became embroiled in disputes over the issue of Communism in the film industry; his political views shifted from liberal to conservative. He toured the country as a television host, becoming a spokesman for conservatism. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California by a margin of a million votes; he was re-elected in 1970.
Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush. Voters troubled by inflation and by the year-long confinement of Americans in Iran swept the Republican ticket into office. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter.
On January 20, 1981, Reagan took office. Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.
Dealing skillfully with Congress, Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. He embarked upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit.
A renewal of national self-confidence by 1984 helped Reagan and Bush win a second term with an unprecedented number of electoral votes. Their victory turned away Democratic challengers Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.
In 1986 Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the end of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.
In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve "peace through strength." During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.
By ordering naval escorts in the Persian Gulf, he maintained the free flow of oil during the Iran-Iraq war. In keeping with the Reagan Doctrine, he gave support to anti-Communist insurgencies in Central America, Asia, and Africa.
Overall, the Reagan years saw a restoration of prosperity, and the goal of peace through strength seemed to be within grasp.
God Bless Mr. Reagan, your best days lie ahead with the Lord.
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.
We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.
And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
My fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result, many more people underwent testing. They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives.
So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts,we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this Earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.
In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
I believe Al Gore made a crack about Reagan alzheimer's disease.... If I'm not mistaken.
Thats ok .al gore is just a idiot