Graham released from hospital after heart surgery

U.S. Sen. Bob Graham was released from a Bethesda, Md., hospital Friday, one week after undergoing heart surgery.

The Florida Democrat had surgery to replace an aortic valve in his heart after tests showed damage. According to a news release, Graham will spend the next week recovering at his daughter’s house in Virginia.

“I’m feeling great and looking forward to continuing my recuperation among family and friends,” Graham said in the release.

Doctors said Graham should be able to return to work by the end of the month. It is at that time that he said he will decide whether to run for president.

But Graham didn’t let his surgery stop him from responding to the week’s biggest news events from his hospital bed. Last Tuesday, Graham offered his comments for the Congressional Record, expressing his sorrow for the loss of space shuttle Columbia. He discussed Florida’s role in the space industry and encouraged a speedy investigation of the disaster.

“We must recommit ourselves to returning to space, to resuming launches, to continuing to build the International Space Station, and to forging ahead with missions to Mars and other planets,” Graham said.

On Wednesday, he released another statement. Graham, who has cautioned President George W. Bush of the consequences of war in Iraq for months, responded to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the U. N. Security Council. In the presentation, Powell presented his evidence against Iraq.

Graham said he applauded Powell’s decision to make the evidence public. He said he found the connections between Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and international terrorists the most significant information in the presentation.

Graham said it is that link that raises concerns for the safety of the American public.

“I continue to urge the president in the relatively few days left before the start of war with Iraq to use every measure to protect Americans by dismantling these international terrorist organizations here and abroad,” Graham said.