U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier is "showing progress" during his third week battling serious pneumonia in the hospital, where he is in critical but stable condition, his sons said in a statement released on the Tri-Valley congressman's birthday Tuesday.
DeSaulnier, a third-term Democrat from Concord and a cancer survivor, has been hospitalized in the Washington, D.C., area since March 13 after developing pneumonia after breaking a rib when he fell while running. The congressman tested negative for the novel coronavirus on March 16.
“We’ve been heartened by all the support, strength and birthday wishes for our Dad. It’s inspiring to hear from so many who care for and have shared so much with him over the years," Tristan and Tucker DeSaulnier said on Tuesday -- which was DeSaulnier's 68th birthday.
“Our Dad remains in critical condition, but is stable and continues to be characteristically resilient. While his situation remains serious, he is showing progress as his doctors continue to treat his pneumonia. His road to recovery is uncertain, ongoing, and will take time. Right now, our priority -- and his -- is ensuring improvement continues," they said, adding:
“Even in the most difficult times, Dad has always had faith that California and America are strong enough to face any challenge. And we believe the same of him."
Rep. DeSaulnier, whose 11th Congressional District includes Danville and Alamo, has been in the hospital since March 13 to treat complications of pneumonia brought on by a traumatic rib fracture after he fell during a run.
DeSaulnier was originally admitted in serious but stable condition. But his health status deteriorated and he was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) in critical condition, his chief of staff Betsy Arnold Marr announced on March 21.
The congressman has been in critical condition since, though his adult sons confirmed Tuesday that he has improved slightly to critical but stable.
DeSaulnier, who is seeking re-election this year and was the top vote-getter in the March 3 primary election, has nearly 30 years of public service experience in Contra Costa County, starting in the Concord City Council before moving to the county's Board of Supervisors and later the California State Assembly.
He was in his sixth year as a state senator when voters elected him in November 2014 to succeed retiring Martinez Democrat George Miller as the District 11 representative.
During his first term in Washington, D.C., DeSaulnier announced in May 2016 that he had undergone successful treatment during the previous year for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.