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Rumsfeld Ill, but Continues Working

March 4, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has been ill for several days but has kept a regular, though reduced, work schedule mostly out of public view, his spokesman said Thursday.

``He picked up this bug that’s going around,″ Lawrence Di Rita told reporters when asked about Rumsfeld’s condition. ``He’s been in every day ... He’s tried to limit his contact with people a little bit because he’s been sick.″

Rumsfeld, 72, is in his fifth year as defense secretary.

He canceled an appearance in Los Angeles last Friday because of his condition. The House Armed Services Committee had expected him Wednesday for continued testimony on President Bush’s proposed 2006 defense budget, but aides said they were told he put it off because he was ill.

Di Rita, however, said Rumsfeld put off the testimony until next week mainly because of a backlog of office work due to his curtailed schedule.

Others on Rumsfeld’s staff have been under the weather, including Di Rita.

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