DOT's Mineta hospitalized

| 1/7/2003

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta was released from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, Jan. 6 after being admitted about three weeks ago for back problems.

He was released for a brief time during Christmas, but returned because his pain continued.

Mineta, 71, has long suffered from problems related to a disc in his back and had surgery last summer to correct it, The Associated Press reported. A DOT official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mineta had canceled all official meetings, appointments and speaking engagements for January. However, press reports indicated he attended a Cabinet meeting after being released from the hospital.

Mineta is the only Democrat in Bush's Cabinet. He also served as President Clinton's commerce secretary. He was appointed in 2001.

Meanwhile, two White House officials told The AP Mineta had no intention of leaving his post anytime soon.