George McGovern Released from St. Augustine Hospital
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Former South Dakota senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern was released from a Florida hospital Thursday after undergoing tests, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Patty McAnnally, nursing supervisor at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., said the 89-year-old McGovern was released in the afternoon.
McGovern was admitted Tuesday for tests to determine why he occasionally passes out and loses his ability to speak, said Ann McGovern, the politician’s daughter.
“The testing has been inconclusive,” Ann McGovern told The Associated Press on Thursday evening.
She said her father suffers from several age-related ailments and has been told by doctors to slow down and rest — advice that the elder McGovern has been reluctant to heed.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint what causes his specific symptoms,” she said.
McGovern splits his time between Florida and South Dakota, where he was a congressman from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981. He has been hospitalized several times in recent months.
He was treated for exhaustion in Sioux Falls in October after he completed a lecture tour. Two months later, he fell and hit his head, just before he was to be interviewed on C-SPAN for a program called “The Contenders” that focused on failed presidential candidates who had a lasting impact on American politics.
McGovern lost in a historic landslide in his 1972 challenge to President Richard Nixon, who eventually resigned amid the Watergate scandal.
McGovern on Saturday attended the South Dakota Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser in Sioux Falls. Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf said Wednesday that McGovern looked great and gave a 20-minute speech at the event but resisted efforts to schedule rest periods. By weekend’s end, McGovern appeared tired, Nesselhuf said.
Ann McGovern acknowledged that it’s hard to slow her father down. His health is a “fluid situation that changes as he gets older,” she said.
Most of McGovern’s work in recent years has focused on world hunger. He and former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Dole were honored in 2008 with the World Food Prize. Their George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Nutrition Program, established in 2000 and funded primarily through Congress, provides millions of meals to children in the U.S. and some three dozen other countries.
Amber Hunt in Sioux Falls, S.D., contributed.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.