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Sec. James Baker and Wife Recovering After Covid Diagnosis

A Houston native, Baker served under three presidents.

By Emma Schkloven August 20, 2020

Not even the most influential of us are immune to the dangers of coronavirus. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III and his wife Susan are recovering in their Houston home after being diagnosed with Covid-19, according to a report from the New York Times.

Although they are feeling unwell, neither required hospitalization, John B. Williams, James Baker’s senior advisor tells Houstonia. “His response today is he feels lucky he was only 90 when he got the disease.”

The couple believe they were exposed to the novel coronavirus while visiting family in Wyoming earlier this month. Susan Baker began experiencing symptoms last week, while the former secretary of state started feeling ill several days ago. The Bakers are currently taking it easy—well, as easy as any political figure and their family ever take it. On Tuesday, Susan Baker made her husband pancakes, and James Baker spent Thursday going through paperwork and talking with staffers, says Williams.

“They appreciate all the prayers and thoughts, but would love it if people would respect their privacy,” he adds. “Don’t call, and don’t drop by.”

A native Houstonian, Baker served under three presidents, acting as secretary of commerce to Gerald Ford; White House chief of staff and secretary of the Treasury to Ronald Regan; and, finally, secretary of state and chief of staff to George H. W. Bush. He also ran five presidential campaigns. Baker, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991, is the honorary chairman of Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

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