Thomas J. Sheeran
CLEVELAND: Jimmy Carter was preparing to leave an Ohio hospital where he spent two days recovering from a viral infection doctors say likely gave him stomach problems.
The 85-year-old former president will leave the hospital between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., said Susan Christopher, spokeswoman for Cleveland's MetroHealth Medical Center. Police cars, ambulances and SUVs were lined up outside the hospital as television crews gathered to watch Carter leave.
Carter became ill during a Delta Air Lines flight Tuesday from Atlanta to Cleveland, causing rescue crews to rush him to the hospital after the plane landed. His medical team recommended that he stay for two nights for monitoring.
''President Carter thanks all those who have expressed concern and sent greetings to him,'' the hospital said in a statement Wednesday night.
The hospital stay interrupted Carter's tour to promote his new book, White House Diary.
Planned book-signings in Ohio and North Carolina were called off Tuesday. His publisher also canceled scheduled events in Washington on Wednesday, including one at the Smithsonian Institution. The status of an event planned at a Columbia, S.C., bookstore Thursday was unclear.
Carter, a former peanut farmer elected to the White House in 1976, has spent his recent years pursuing peace and human rights, efforts that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
In the new book, Carter said he pursued an overly aggressive agenda as president that may have confused voters and alienated lawmakers. But he said the tipping points that cost him the 1980 election were the Iran hostage crisis and the Democratic primary challenge by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
He is the author of more than 20 books, including the Palestine Peace Not Apartheid in 2006, about his experiences in the Middle East, and 2005's Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis.