Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said his colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, was not at risk after being hospitalized with an infection last week.
TMZ reported Thursday that Breyer said the 73-year-old Supreme Court justice is doing well, just a week after being hospitalized on March 18 after experiencing flu-like symptoms.
In a March 20 statement, the court said Thomas was at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics,” the court said in a statement. “His symptoms are easing, he is resting comfortably and he expects to be discharged from hospital in a day or two.”
The Supreme Court’s statement did not explain why it waited two days to reveal that Thomas was in the hospital.
The court’s public information officer, Patricia McCabe, said Thomas’ illness was unrelated to COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. He is vaccinated and received a booster shot.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court declined to say whether Thomas was still hospitalized, as he was due to be released Tuesday evening.
Thomas, a conservative appointed by former Republican President George HW Bush, has served on the Supreme Court since 1991 and is now its most senior member. He is the second African-American to serve in the field after Thurgood Marshall, whom he succeeded.
As the Supreme Court became more conservative, Thomas’ right-wing views became more influential.
Thomas missed four days of closing arguments as the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this week. US President Joe Biden has nominated Jackson to replace Breyer, who intends to retire at the end of the court’s current term. At 83, Breyer is the oldest judge on the court.
The court heard arguments in five cases this week, the Washington Post reported, and is expected to review four more next week.
Chief Justice John Roberts said in open court Wednesday that Thomas would read the briefs and transcripts of the oral arguments.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Thomas’ health.
A tweet that went viral on Wednesday said he was “very sick” and was using a ventilator in the hospital. The tweet has now been deleted and there is no evidence to support his claim.
However, the tweet sparked huge interest in Google search around Thomas’ health.
Newsweek contacted the court for an update on the judge’s current medical condition.