Gov. Branstad Hospitalized Overnight with Flu-Like Symptoms

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JOHNSTON, Iowa - Governor Terry Branstad was hospitalized overnight with flu-like symptoms after falling ill during a ribbon-cutting event at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston Monday.

A witness said the governor had been slurring his words during his remarks and then was in physical discomfort and moaning as staff assisted.

Police provided an escort as an ambulance took Branstad to Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines for treatment.

According to a statement released by Branstad’s office, the governor was kept overnight in the hospital “out of an abundance of caution.” He is being hydrated, and is resting comfortably.

The statement also said Branstad, 68, did receive a flu shot this fall.

Another statement, released shortly before 7:00  p.m. contained a comment from Mark Purtle, M.D., chief medical officer of UnityPoint Health-Des Moines.

“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. 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.”

Planned events for Tuesday have been canceled for Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, while both “rest and recover from seasonal illnesses.”

Branstad, who later this year will become the nation's longest-serving governor, was sworn in for his sixth term on January 16.

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