Rep. Howard Coble, 80, was admitted to George Washington University Hospital today with a “respiratory illness,” his office announced.
The North Carolina Republican, who is serving his 14th term in Congress, has been fighting a cold for a week, his chief of staff said in a statement.
“He requested a leave of absence on Monday because he did not feel well enough to vote after his flight to D.C. was postponed by more than six hours yesterday in Greensboro,” Ed McDonald said. “When he did not feel any better today, he visited the Attending Physician in the Capitol, who made the determination to transport Congressman Coble” to the hospital.
McDonald said Coble was admitted after his physicians found him to be suffering from low sodium levels brought about by his respiratory illness, the specifics of which remain unclear.
In a short interview, McDonald told Roll Call that Coble was driven to GWU Hospital in a sport utility vehicle and that he is accompanied by a staffer. Coble is expected to spend a few days in the hospital because it takes time to raise sodium levels.
McDonald said Coble’s office has let “leadership know, don’t count on him for votes.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.