WASHINGTON — The thoughts of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are with Nelson Mandela, the White House said Thursday, as the revered 92-year-old former South African president remained in hospital.
Mandela’s hospital stay stretched into a second day as concern mounted in his country about his health, President Jacob Zuma said he was merely undergoing and check-up and called for calm.
“The president and the first lady, their thoughts are will Nelson Mandela,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that the United States was hoping for a “speedy recovery” for the former anti-apartheid campaigner turned president.
“He is one of the world’s statesmen, a truly global citizen in the finest sense of the word. Our thoughts and prayers are with he and his family.”
“We want to make sure that he stays with us for, you know, many many years to come.”
“He is a great friend of the United States,” said Crowley, adding that the US embassy in Pretoria was closely monitoring Mandela’s health.