President-elect Bush, his parents and other family members flew to a Florida vacation spot Tuesday, while one of Bush’s twin daughters recovered in a Texas hospital after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. The president-elect’s wife, Laura Bush, stayed behind to help care for her daughter.
“She’s feeling great,” Bush said of daughter Jenna, 19. “My daughter’s great,” he told reporters, joking that if she cannot join the rest of the family in Florida, “she can clean out her room.”
Bush family members were heading to Boca Grande, Fla., a favored Gulf Coast fishing spot north of Fort Myers. They landed early Tuesday afternoon at Charlotte County Aviation Authority and stepped into a waiting car.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was waiting in Boca Grande for his brother and parents to arrive.
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Bush, who was due for a national-security briefing upon arrival in Florida, said it is possible he will make his next major personnel announcement during a Washington visit that will begin Thursday. “I’m obviously mindful that time’s running short,” he said.
With his Jan. 20 inauguration fast approaching, Bush still must name about half his Cabinet members and fill numerous other top government positions.
He said he talked to his incoming chief of staff, Andy Card, earlier in the day. “We’ve made great progress up to now. I’m proud of how our team has really come together and done a great job in a short period of time,” Bush said.
The president-elect said he planned some fishing as well as “a lot of phone calls” and transition work during the vacation.
Bush spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Jenna Bush was described by doctors as stable and in good condition and probably would be released later Tuesday. “She slept well,” he said. She underwent surgery at St. David’s Hospital on Christmas night.
Bush, wearing a gray cowboy hat, left the governor’s mansion in a rain storm to visit his daughter for about 45 minutes after the procedure Monday night. Bush himself had his appendix removed when he was 10 years old.
Jenna Bush was taken to the hospital, a five-minute drive from the mansion, after experiencing abdominal pains Christmas Day.
The president-elect said the family was having lunch at a friend’s home when the attack occurred. The family returned to the governor’s mansion, where Jenna’s pain grew more severe.
Doctors performed surgery to remove the appendix, which is a small, finger-shaped pouch of intestinal tissue.
“The doctors are very pleased” with her progress, Johndroe said.
Bush said his daughter’s appendix had not ruptured. When an appendix bursts, it spreads infection throughout the abdomen, which can cause infertility in young females and requires intravenous antibiotics and weeks of hospitalization.
Jenna is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. Her sister, Barbara, attends Yale University.