Update: According to Governor’s Office spokesman Jimmy Centers, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been admitted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center and will remain under observation overnight “out of an abundance of precaution” following a health scare during a visit to an agricultural facility north of Des Moines.
“Gov. Branstad is currently alert and resting comfortably at Iowa Methodist Medical Center,” Centers said. “He is being observed and hydrated after having flu-like symptoms. The Governor did have a flu shot this season. The Governor has been admitted and will be kept overnight out of an abundance of caution.”
Branstad was touring the Dupont Pioneer facility in Johnston and was speaking to an audience when he began to struggle. According to eyewitnesses, he was slurring his speech and was helped to a chair, and then laid down on the floor to await medical attention.
Conscious and alert, he appeared to be in pain, according to an eyewitness. The Governor was then transported by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
Eye-witness accounts say Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds told the audience that both she and Branstad had been dealing with the flu. The Governor was visibly dealing with some kind of respiratory ailment during his inauguration ceremony. Following the Governor’s collapse, Centers issued the following statement:
“Gov. Branstad fell ill at an event today at DuPont Pioneer. An ambulance was called and he was transported to Methodist hospital in Des Moines. The governor is conscious and alert and was so during the transport to the hospital. During the transport, paramedics took the governor’s vitals and initial tests indicate that the spell was caused by a seasonal illness. The governor had been suffering from the effects of a cold.”
Continue to follow The Iowa Statesman for updates on this developing story.