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Byrd Admitted to Hospital After Fall

Updated 2:59 p.m.
By Ben Pershing
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) has been admitted to an undisclosed hospital for at least a few days after a fall at his Northern Virginia home.

According to a statement released by Byrd's office Tuesday afternoon, the senator "has been admitted to the hospital and is expected to remain there for a few days. Byrd was taken to the hospital this morning as a precautionary measure following a fall at his home which was likely caused by standing up too quickly.

"While having no broken bones or bruises, upon examination, doctors found an elevated white-blood cell count which can be an early sign of an infection. Therefore, his doctors have determined that Byrd should remain in the hospital for antibiotic treatment and observation. Senator Byrd is in good spirits and expressed his disappointment that he was unable to join all his Senate colleagues this afternoon for the biennial Senate photo."

Earlier Tuesday, Byrd's office had suggested there was "no indication" he would be admitted to the hospital.


Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V. waves as he arrives on Capitol Hill on Feb. 26, 2009. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

Byrd, 91, is the longest-serving senator in history and has been plagued by frequent health problems in recent years. Earlier this year he was hospitalized for several weeks with unspecified fever and then a staph infection. During that stint, his staff provided few updates and little information about his condition, even declining -- as is the case again today -- to release the name of the hospital.

Since he was released from that hospital stay in June, Byrd has been present for only a handful of votes in the Senate, though he did register "aye" votes for the Transportation appropriations bill and a couple of other measures last Thursday. He also showed up in August to vote in favor of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. And Byrd appeared on the Senate floor earlier this month to pay an emotional tribute to his close friend, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

While Byrd rarely appears in the Senate and has given up the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, his office is as active as ever. Nearly every day, Byrd -- a legendary magnet for federal money -- announces funding for more West Virginia projects. His home page is currently dominated by a "Byrd's-Eye View" column reminding students to get plenty of sleep during the school year

By Ben Pershing  |  September 22, 2009; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

We wish you good health, Robert Byrd.

Posted by: JoStalin | September 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Wish the old warrior would retire already. The all-important vote on health care is coming up soon (without Sen. Grassley's stab at "bipartisanship") and it sure would be nice to have it pass. Please, Sen. Byrd, do something for your country instead of for your ego for a change!

Posted by: shapiromarilyn | September 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Di he have his KKK hat on when he fell?

Posted by: mwesty11 | September 22, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

He's not hurt too badly. He fell on his head.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 22, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Some of you folks are really pathetic.

Posted by: memphis1 | September 22, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Some of you folks are really pathetic.

Posted by: memphis1 | September 22, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What's up idaho? You'd rather they make room for the evil young sobs.? I assume you're referring to the William son of Kristol.

CB in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | September 22, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

How are the dimoCRAPS going to replace a murderer (Kennedy) AND a KKK member (Byrd) in just a matter of weeks? Looks like the party of double standards will have to look inward to maintain their own substandards for their constituents who apparently have no standards.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 22, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

how can a 91 year old man...get up too fast?...lol..just think if he had obama-care we would still be waiting on this story because of the waiting time at the hosptial...and obama-care having to call the cheaper ambulance in Ohio to arrive.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 22, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

In response to Bcamp55, the democrat party will turn to the republic party for experienced replacements.

Posted by: whocares666 | September 22, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but this guy should have retired from the Senate decades ago. He is basically selfish and self-centered.

Posted by: jrw1 | September 22, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Father time broke a hip.

Posted by: askgees | September 22, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

Posted by: DROSE1 | September 22, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The Byrd is the word!

Posted by: Axel2 | September 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

How are the dimoCRAPS ...

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 22, 2009 12:02 PM

====

My kingdom for non-infantile discourse among villagers!

Posted by: Crucialitis | September 22, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that the "Christian right" acts so contrary to their supposed values. Where is the Good Samaritan to model some behavior for these folks??
There is a checkered history in Lincoln's party that they conveniently forget.
Why does such anger, hatred even, continue?

Posted by: BwkDawg1 | September 22, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that the "Christian right" acts so contrary to their supposed values. Where is the Good Samaritan to model some behavior for these folks??
There is a checkered history in Lincoln's party that they conveniently forget.
Why does such anger, hatred even, continue?

Posted by: BwkDawg1


That's why most catholics are on the left, and christrians on the right, catholics are a form of christians that actually care more about people's well being versus their own bible-thumping agenda.

Posted by: Cal123 | September 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

We wish you good health, Robert Byrd.

Posted by: JoStalin | September 22, 2009 11:29 AM
-------------------------------------

Speak for yourself.

Posted by: mcoghlan | September 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hang in there Senator.

Posted by: truth1 | September 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure one of his taxpayer paid for aides or maybe one of his taxpayer paid for guards or one of his taxpayer paid for caregivers has made sure that Byrd has his taxpayer paid for Blue Cross Congressional Gold Elite card with him.

Posted by: JAH3 | September 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure one of his taxpayer paid for aides or maybe one of his taxpayer paid for guards or one of his taxpayer paid for caregivers has made sure that Byrd has his taxpayer paid for Blue Cross Congressional Gold Elite card is with him.

Posted by: JAH3 | September 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the "loonie-lefties" can always find excuses for politicos of their stripe who waste taxpayer dollars by insisting on remaining in office when they are way past being able to serve.

For this 91 year old man to have helpers, aides, caregivers, etc., and to rarely show up on the Senate floor, is ludicrous and outrageous. Of course, one could blame the nutjobs that keep voting for the infirm man. But, hey, why state the obvious.

Posted by: marine2211 | September 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Sheets broke a hip? I'm sure he'll soon be back in the land of Buicks and Bryl Cream.

Posted by: mintchocolatechip | September 22, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to you, Big Dog. Get well soon. Love from Cherry Grove WV.

Posted by: alyosha3 | September 22, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why is this old bird hanging on to his senator seat? Is he still finding redemption from his KKK days? Is it not time that he stop being to joke he is and step down and let someone a bit younger take care of West Virginia? What is his purpose in the senate, he can't even make it out of bed for anything, much less to vote... and he does not have the power he use tooooo once upon a time... Time to retire before he gets retired.

Posted by: sabestu | September 22, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe his KKK hat was to heavy for him and he fell.

Posted by: mwesty11 | September 22, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

It appears that the discourse on the Washington Post and other websites has become totally uncivil. While the internet is great, it permits people to say things they would not say face-to-face. Can we have some civility?

Posted by: jeanhecht | September 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Senator Byrd did not remain the longest Senator because he "fell on his head", voted for every Bill that someone wanted or because he was not liked by his constituents. He is well respected in his state of West Virginia. Shame on the people here who make comments about his wearing a KKK hat. For those of you too young to know different..being a member of the KKK was fashionable in that era. He since has stated how wrong he was and has proven that he is not racist. Wake up and show some respect. So if he fails to vote for the healthcare ( I wish he would) we can't hold one decision against him. Target those who are making the decision based on party lines, fear and the fact that it is the democrats pushing for it.

Posted by: midnightladyNC | September 22, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Get well soon Senator Byrd. America loves you very much and we want you around for a long time. ~A.L.

Posted by: fair1 | September 22, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

People who post negative comments about Senator Byrd are only showing their ignorance.

Here, from the LATimes 22 July 2004:

"Raised in the hardscrabble poverty of coal mine country in West Virginia during the Depression, he could not afford to go to college. A gas station attendant and a welder, he joined the Ku Klux Klan during his first run for the state Legislature because he thought it would earn him votes. He quickly renounced his membership and spent 10 years getting his law degree at night while serving as a U.S. senator."

I have the highest of praise for Senator Byrd. He stood up almost alone against the Bush gang and the cowardly Democrats when he opposed the invasion of Iraq. Moreover, he has staunchly defended our Constitution and our freedom.

I keep a copy of his speeches in my computer because they were unique. Here's a good quote:

"There was a time in this country when men and women of opposite political parties could reason together to achieve such goals. There was a time when the concerns of honorable men and women serving in this Senate received the respect of fellow members of the Senate, even though they were in the minority. Now, I am very sorry to observe, the Senate and the country are so polarized and politicized that nearly all dissent is discarded as obstructionist and politically motivated. Get out of the way is the cry."

But Senator Byrd did not get out of the way! He is a brave and principled man...

Posted by: FedUp1 | September 22, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Good move. If he fell after Obamacare passed, he'd be screwed and tattooed..

Posted by: SMWE357 | September 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"He is well respected in his state of West Virginia."

Isn't that like being the tallest midget?

"For those of you too young to know different..being a member of the KKK was fashionable in that era."

Um, what???

Posted by: Axel2 | September 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"being a member of the KKK was fashionable in that era."

Posted by: midnightladyNC

Just say no to drugs.

Posted by: mwesty11 | September 22, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I imagine that most Americans, whatever their political leanings, wish Senator Byrd good health and a long life. But Senator Byrd's infirmity raises a legitimate question. Apart from satisfying his own ego, what good comes from his continuing to serve in the Senate? Wouldn't the people of West Virginia and the Democratic Party be better represented by someone who's capable of fully participating in the legislative process? Having dedicated a lifetime to public service, isn't it time for Senator Byrd to do the honorable thing and step down?

Posted by: Rob_ | September 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Here, from the LATimes 22 July 2004

Posted by: FedUp1 |

Well if the LA Times said it, it must be true.

Lets see, he joins a racist group to get the racist vote. What a man!!!

I guess his motto is " I joined the KKK and all I got was this pointy white hat."

Posted by: mwesty11 | September 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Its time to discuss age limits for elected officials. Lets think about PA's Rep Dan Flood who avoided trial because he lacked mental capacity; then Strom Thurman; and now Byrd. When is old too old? The question needs addressing.

Posted by: almelbe | September 22, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hope I live as long...

Posted by: FedUp8 | September 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Byrd will hold his seat for at least another 10 years. W. Virginia voters and the taxidermist will asure that. Upon retirement, he will be mounted in his Wheeling office, where constituents will visit him every day, burn incense, and invoke his magic powers to steer federal pork into eager hands.

Posted by: jkoch2 | September 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It is time for the Senator to, please, step aside for the good of the state and the health care passage. The Democratic Gov. will apoint a replacement. Bryd has seved well but is often incoherent and
moblity is an ongoing and increasingly huge problem. What other job would allow a person to work with partial demitia?
Mr. Bryd please, gracefully, step aside.
Thank you.

Posted by: crrobin | September 22, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"being a member of the KKK was fashionable in that era" ... yeah, and white people in South Africa thought apartied was a good idea. I bet Madam Midnight still wishes for white sections only in restaurants.

Posted by: mintchocolatechip | September 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

So sorry to hear this. Best wishes to Senator Byrd.

The article might also take note of another public appearance. Senator Byrd waited on the Senate steps along with hundreds of staff and legislators to honor the cortege of his friend Senator Ted Kennedy as it made a last stop at the Senate on its way to Arlington Cemetary.

I was glad to see Congressmen Connolly and Moran on hand as well -- the coverage on TV was rather arbitrary, so I don't know who else from Northern Virginia was there.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 22, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Klantastic news !!!!

Posted by: dashriprock | September 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

By the way, to answer the questions above about why Senator Byrd remains in office, I would assume it's the seniority system in the Senate.

He is as the article notes, a famous magnet for federal money, even though no longer the head of the Appropriations Committee. I'm not from West Virginia but that is a state that can undoubtedly use it. When the day comes that a junior Senator takes his place, the funding will be reduced. By remaining, he delays that day.

Is this, in principle, a good system? Probably not. But that's the logical reason for him to stay.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

As for the KKK ties, those cannot be forgotten.

But it might be worth re-reading the section of Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, in which the young, new Senator had some quiet one-on-one time with Byrd in which this was clearly the unspoken topic. Look at it again if you've forgotten.

I also note Byrd's strong endorsement of Obama over Clinton, not that it exactly delivered West Virginia, admittedly, in the primary.

People are complicated. People with very long lives have a lot of contradictory facets in the course of those long lives. On the other hand, the Internet is not exactly a nuance-friendly zone, as the comments on this piece show.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

KNOCK IT OFF AGAINST BOB BYRD!

To the MORONS who keep attacking Senator Byrd about his "KKK" affiliation in his youth, those days are LONG gone.

Are any of you ATTACKERS aware that his grandkids are not "White?" Are you aware that he and his late wife gave their blessing to their daughter marrying a non-white individual MANY years ago?

Now that Bob is in very ill-health, NOW you attack him with your immoral, cheap shots. I say that as a former REPUBLICAN national political director for 3 of the 4 national GOP organizations (NRCC, RNC, RGA) who has known Bob for over 50 years. You have NO idea what a fine, fine man Robert C. Byrd is.

He is a great American and has SAVED this nation many times without bravado or taking credit, yet, you attack him.

You guys do NOT deserve to LIVE in a country like this. Perhaps you should move to one more suited to your demeanor, like Iraq or Pakistan!

Bob Byrd would never tell you that. I just did!

Posted by: gglenc | September 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

DID Byrd see Obama and get pushed down for calling him the N word?

Looks like Hillary isn't the only one anymore.

Posted by: dottydo | September 22, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the "loonie-lefties" can always find excuses for politicos of their stripe who waste taxpayer dollars by insisting on remaining in office when they are way past being able to serve.

For this 91 year old man to have helpers, aides, caregivers, etc., and to rarely show up on the Senate floor, is ludicrous and outrageous. Of course, one could blame the nutjobs that keep voting for the infirm man. But, hey, why state the obvious.

Posted by: marine2211 | September 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

==============

He's a lot more alert than Strom Thurmond who was in the Senate until the age of 100. Strom didn't have a clue as to what was going on. But that's what the voters of the great racist state of South Carolina wanted. And if the voters of the great racist state of West Virginian want to keep Senator Byrd that's their choice.

Posted by: James10 | September 22, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

FedUp1, thank you very much for your consise round-up of Senator Byrd's career. Every American everywhere ought to be proud of this man who has dedicated himself to his people in his home state and to all the rest of us.
I always remember the fact that he carries a copy of the Constitution in his pocket and has brought it out every time he knew he needed it.
I am praying that he can return to the Senate in time to vote for Obama's, final and finally, health care plan.
God bless our Senator Byrd. And American Hero.

Posted by: cms1 | September 22, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

If I was in his shoes, I would have retired a LONG time ago!

Posted by: cowboyjohn57 | September 22, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Trust the garden snakes of the right to enjoy every moment of this. dashriprock, dottydo...you're all that's left of the Great Right Wing. Very, very sad.

Posted by: dfc102 | September 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Sen. Byrd has let himself become a cartoonish poster boy for death panels. He should have retired years ago, and his pathetic refusal to do so leaves West Virginians without the vigorous representation they deserve.

Posted by: mckdarrenDC | September 23, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, Sen. Byrd has let himself become a cartoonish poster boy for death panels. He should have retired years ago, and his pathetic refusal to do so leaves West Virginians without the vigorous representation they deserve.

Posted by: mckdarrenDC | September 23, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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