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Special Event

Ford Spokesman: President's Condition Upgraded to Fair

Aired August 3, 2000 - 10:40 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Here is a spokesperson for the Ford family at a hospital in Philadelphia.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

CALVIN MCDOWELL, FORD SPOKESMAN: ... upgraded the president's condition to fair. And that has just happened within the hour and we wanted to pass that on to you. She will be here at noon and will have more information relative to that. But we just wanted to get it to you.

The president has been up and had a brief, short walk this morning, which is very encouraging, and very positive.

Thank you very much. We will see you at noon.

QUESTION: Is he taking visitors.

MCDOWELL; No, he is not.

HEMMER: That's Calvin McDowell, a spokesperson for the Ford family. Just a little bit of information there, but again encouraging news there from the hospital today. Saying that President Ford's condition has been upgraded to fair. It just happened in the past 60 minutes, that upgrade; and also, apparently he did have a brief walk this morning. That too is good news.

Pat Neal is at the hospital and joins us now live.

Pat, you just heard the comments, what else are you picking up over there?

PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you just heard from Calvin McDowell, who has been with Ford for a long time, talking about how he would tell us if there was any change in his condition. He was happy to come in and report that, as you said, that the former president, his situation has been upgraded to fair, that he has been up for a little walk.

This is good news. He walked into this hospital yesterday as 9:00, complaining of feeling off balance. They discovered that he had one, possibly two strokes. Doctors said that, throughout the day, his condition was improving. And they had told us that they would let us know if there was anything new. He does have some slurred speech, that is what they told us yesterday, and a little bit of difficulty with balance. But they do think that he will recover fully.

So we are anticipating a briefing, a full briefing by the medical staff at 12:00 noon Eastern time, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from now. And we hope to have more on his condition and more on this upgrading news about him being in better condition, in fair condition then.

Pat Neal, CNN, reporting live from Philadelphia.

HEMMER: All right, Pat, thank you. We will be in touch there again.

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