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Md. Speaker Busch addresses health questions

ANNAPOLIS — House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Thursday that he has been treated for a nonlife-threatening illness that resulted in visible weight loss in the last couple of months.

House Speaker Michael Busch speaking at the Dec. 6 swearing in of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (he Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

House Speaker Michael Busch speaking at the Dec. 6 swearing in of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Busch, an Anne Arundel Democrat, responded to questions about his health following an appearance at the inaugural of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. The Speaker at the event appeared visibly thinner and fed speculation in and around the State House that he was sick.

“Many people have expressed concern for my health over the past month. I appreciate all of the interest: I had a complication from a prescription which resulted in gastrointestinal bleeding. My doctor and I have taken the appropriate steps for a speedy recovery,” Busch said in a statement to The Daily Record.

Busch, the longest serving  Speaker in the state’s history, was briefly hospitalized as a result of the internal bleeding in October. That hospitalization caused him to miss a House Democratic Caucus meeting — the first time he has done so in recent memory. A Washington Post article published at the time attributed Busch’s absence to feeling poorly after a flu shot.

His appearance and rumors about his health have fed speculation that Busch might either step down before the end of his term or not seek re-election in 2018.

Busch, who turns 70 on Jan. 4, has kept up his usual office schedule in the State House since being released as well as an active campaign fundraising schedule, including eight events since Oct. 18 and three more scheduled before the end of the year. He also has attended a number of events in support of other officials and legislators.


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