WASHINGTON — Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawai‘i, is under observation at a Washington, D.C.-area hospital so that doctors can monitor his oxygen intake, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The 88-year-old Hawai‘i Democrat, is the longest serving U.S. senator, now completing his 50th year in the chamber, according to AP, who quoted Inouye as saying in a statement that he is, “for the most part, okay.”
Inouye said he is working with his doctors to regulate his oxygen intake and needs to be in the hospital for his own safety and for observation, AP reports.
The news of the hospitalization of Hawai‘i’s war hero senator prompted get-well messages from fellow Democrats.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Monday afternoon issued a “message of aloha and wishes for a speedy recovery” to Inouye, who is at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, on doctors’ orders to regulate his oxygen intake.
“We are in close touch with Sen. Inouye and his office. He is alert, feisty and ready to get back to work as soon as possible,” Abercrombie says in his message.
Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawai‘i, says in a statement that her thoughts and prayers are with Inouye and his ‘ohana.
“I join all of Hawai‘i in wishing Senator Inouye a full and speedy recovery,” Gabbard says. “He is in the best of hands at Walter Reed, and I am confident that he will have a quick return to the U.S. Capitol. I look forward to his continued leadership, as we take on the many challenges facing Hawai‘i and our nation.”
Inouye, a decorated World War II veteran, has long been a dominant force in Hawai‘i politics. He chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee and is the Senate’s president pro tempore, third in the presidential line of succession. He served on the Senate’s Watergate committee and the House-Senate Iran-Contra panel in the late 1980s, according to AP.