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President’s Recovery ‘Superb,’ Spokesman Says

February 17, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Reagan enjoyed a ″superb″ recovery from prostate surgery six weeks ago and has the go-ahead from his physicians to resume a full schedule, his spokesman said Tuesday.

″The president is in excellent health,″ White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater told reporters.

Reagan, who underwent prostate surgery on Jan. 5, was advised by his physicians to avoid strenuous exercise and adopt a limited work schedule for the usual six-week recovery period.

Fitzwater said he spoke with Reagan’s physician, Col. John Hutton, who reported that ″the president’s post-operative recuperation has been superb.″

The spokesman said the group of physicians who treated Reagan during his hospitalization believe the president can resume his normal schedule.

Fitzwater said this will be reflected in an increase in the president’s appearances, such as travels around the country on behalf of his trade and competitiveness proposals, as well as resumption of his personal exercise program.

Normally, the president has followed a daily workout program with free weights and a Nautilus machine.

Asked whether the adoption of a normal schedule will mean that reporters will be allowed to question the president, Fitzwater replied: ″You’ll see a return to normal coverage.″

Access to Reagan, dogged by the recent controversy over the sale of arms to Iran and the diversion of funds to the Nicaraguan rebels, has been severely limited in recent weeks. For example, reporters have not been allowed into the Oval Office meetings Reagan has had with dignitaries or visitors since Dec. 4.

Fitzwater refused to say whether reporters would be allowed to attend one such photo session scheduled for Wednesday between Reagan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Queried whether Reagan’s recuperation report meant that he was was well enough to hold a press conference, the spokesman replied that one is not on the president’s schedule at the moment.

Reagan held his last press conference on Nov. 19.

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