Cheney Back on the Job After Getting ICD

W A S H I N G T O N, July 2, 2001 -- Vice President Dick Cheney said today "everything's fine" on his first day back at work since getting a "pacemaker-plus" implanted in his chest this weekend.

When asked by reporters how he was feeling at this afternoon, the vice president smiled, gave the "OK" sign with his hand and replied, "Very good."

"A little tender in the shoulder," he added at the Oval Office photo-op. "It'll pass."

"We were thinking about doing some jumping jacks before you came in," joked President Bush.

Cheney, perhaps the world's best-known coronary artery disease patient, had a device known as an ICD implanted Saturday to regulate his heartbeat. The so-called pacemaker-plus monitors the heart rate and stimulates the heart with electricity to correct an irregular rhythm.

The vice president has a history of heart trouble and has suffered four heart attacks — the most recent one last November.

The vice president was asked repeatedly about the operation and his current condition as he gave a trio of prescheduled radio interviews aimed at building support for the Bush administration's proposed energy policy.

"I'm sitting here at my desk, working away so everything's fine," he told WWVA, a West Virginia radio station.

A Busy, But Normal Day for VP

The vice president's limousine pulled into the White House at 7:43 a.m. this morning, delivering Cheney in time for his first order of business — his regular intenlligence and national security briefings with the president in the Oval Office.

"I was confident he would be there at 8 a.m. sharp … and there he was," Bush told reporters afterward. "We were all thrilled to see how good he looked this morning."

Those briefings were followed by a meeting with the Domestic Policy Council and a briefing on the economy.

After giving the radio interviews, Cheney headed back to the Oval Office to meet with the president and New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful Bret Schundler. Aides said the vice president would meet late this afternoon with his congressional affairs and national security staffs.

The vice president is the Bush administration's chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill and heads up task forces on energy and counterterrorism. A former secretary of defense, Cheney is also a major player on national security issues, meeting weekly with Pentagon officials.

Cheney planned to leave the White House at around 6 p.m., making it a normal 10-hour work day.

The vice president is taking Tylenol for the soreness in his shoulder following the surgical procedure and doctors have not yet said whether he'll be able to do a little fly-fishing — his favorite hobby — when he's on a pre-planned vacation in his home-state of Wyoming later this week.

ABCNEWS' John Cochran and ABC Radio's Ann Compton contributed to this report from the White House.

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