Mineta released from hospital after 'chassis' readjustment

| 3/11/2003

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is out of the hospital after a long recuperation from back surgery to relieve chronic pain, The Associated Press reported.

He ran the department with the help of telecommunications equipment during a three-month stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“The doctors had to realign this bent chassis,” Mineta said. “I feel better than I sound, which is the opposite of a few months ago.”

Mineta had surgery in August to relieve his back pain, which reappeared after a plane trip to Guantanamo Bay in November. Doctors found the pain was caused by a staph infection and made worse by a curvature of the spine. He was hospitalized Nov. 29 to cure the infection and underwent another back operation Jan. 24.

Mineta, 71, is the only Democrat in President Bush's Cabinet. The former 10-term House member and ex-mayor of San Jose, CA, became the first Asian-American Cabinet secretary in 2000, when then-President Clinton named him to head the Commerce Department.