Mayor Rob Ford was hospitalized as a result of a throat and stomach “irritation” that “aggravated his asthma,” his office said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Ford was admitted to Humber River Regional Hospital on Tuesday night. The statement said he is “in good spirits” and “looking forward to going home as soon as doctors allow.” It did not indicate when he might be discharged.
Ford originally believed he had been sickened by food he ate. He missed a Tuesday morning news conference heralding one of his key achievements, the privatization of garbage collection between Yonge St. and the Humber River.
Ford underwent “a number of routine tests” in hospital, the statement said. Earlier Wednesday, his press secretary, George Christopoulos, told reporters outside the hospital that Ford was “feeling much better today.”
His mother, sister and brother, Councillor Doug Ford, visited him on Tuesday night.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, the conservative pre-amalgamation mayor of Etobicoke, can temporarily step in for Ford if Ford is unable to immediately return to work. With a minor exception, the deputy mayor has the same powers as the mayor.
Holyday, who could not be immediately reached Wednesday, said earlier in the summer that he would be attending the Olympics in London. The rules are unclear on who would take over in the absence of both the mayor and deputy.
But the pace of work at City Hall slows to a crawl in August as councillors take vacations. No major meetings are scheduled until Sept. 10. The next meeting of the whole council begins on Oct. 2.
“The good thing now is it’s a slower period,” said Councillor Michael Thompson, a Ford ally. “I don’t see it as being a big problem.”
Ford, Thompson said, can still do his work from his hospital bed as long as he can use a phone and sign papers.
“I don’t know that the mayor is so ill that he can’t pick up the phone and have a conversation,” he said. “If he’s able to be on the phone to speak to folks, that allows him to do his job.”
Ford, who was briefly hospitalized with a kidney stone in February 2011, cited a concern about his health as one of the reasons he launched the “Cut the Waist” weight loss campaign in January. “I’ve got young children, and this is not healthy. You can’t be running the city, you can’t be doing all this, at 330 pounds,” he said upon its launch.