Update: IA Gov. Branstad Released from Hospital

Associated Press
Associated Press

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) remains hospitalized on Tuesday after collapsing on Monday while speaking at a political event.

UPDATE: According to Branstad’s office, he was discharged from the hospital “in good condition” and is “now resting comfortably at Terrace Hill.” Branstad’s personal physician who saw him on Monday evening and Tuesday morning said it was his opinion as a medical professional that the “incident was caused by a mild flu and dehydration.”

“We have ruled out other contributing factors, including cardiac issues and stroke,” Kevin J. Cunningham, M.D., said in a statement. “Governor Branstad will be able to resume a normal work schedule in the near future.”

According to the Des Moines Register reporter who was at the Monday event, “Branstad began to talk slowly and stumble during his speech,” and “a person in the front row grabbed him a bottle of water.” He then “appeared to become wobbly and someone got a chair for him to sit, and he was quickly laid down on the ground.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds reportedly “went to the microphone and said both she and Branstad” have been fighting colds, and Branstad at an earlier event reportedly said that he had been fighting a “bad cold” for “a couple weeks.” Branstad was diagnosed with a “viral illness” and “dehydration.”

“After personally reviewing the governor’s medical records, with his permission, and visiting with him and his attending physicians, we believe the governor has a viral illness with dehydration,” Mark Purtle, the chief medical officer of UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, said in a statement released by Branstad’s office. “We also conducted a series of tests in which we ruled out other contributing factors, including cardiac issues. The governor is still receiving fluids and is resting comfortably.”

As the Register notes, Branstad, who is “due to become the longest-serving governor in U.S. history later this year,” was “hospitalized five days after suffering a heart attack outside the downtown YMCA,” and “had surgery at that time to open a blocked artery.” He has “has carefully watched his diet, has exercised regularly and has said he is in good health,” according to the Register.

Reynolds, the lieutenant governor, reportedly did not take over as “acting governor as a result of Branstad’s sudden hospitalization” because Branstad had remained “alert and conscious.” She, according to Branstad’s office, “intends to visit her doctor on Tuesday morning out of an abundance of caution.”

On Saturday, Branstad addressed the Iowa Freedom Summit, which was sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Citizens United.