“‘It’s clear we’re in the final chapter.’”
That’s a widely shared remark attributed to Josh Carter — a grandson of Jimmy Carter, the 98-year-old former president, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who turned 96 on Friday — in a People magazine feature published over the weekend.
The Atlanta-based Carter Center, however, emphasized late Sunday, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, that there had been no change in the formal health status of either the former president or the former first lady.
The center’s statement appeared to be intended to counter any inference that the death of either Carter, or both, was imminent.
Though his health has been in widely reported decline for a number of years, President Carter has survived liver– and brain-cancer diagnoses, in early and mid-2015, as well as a number of injury-causing falls, in one case turning up to work as scheduled on a Habitat for Humanity project a day after a fall at home in Plains, Ga., left him with a black eye and 14 stitches. He entered at-home hospice care in February.
The Carter Center announced in May that Rosalynn Carter had been diagnosed with dementia.
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Read on (August 2015): Jimmy Carter deserves our thanks, not our scorn
Josh Carter, in the People interview, is quoted as having said that he expected his grandfather, nearly three years senior to his wife of 77 years and receiving only palliative care, to precede the former first lady in death. “It’s just math,” Josh Carter, a small-business owner and podcast host who reportedly has been engaged in the Carter Center’s effort to eradicate Guinea-worm disease, is quoted as saying.
The former president has been quoted as saying he hoped “the last Guinea worm,” which causes river blindness, would “die before I do.”
From the archives (May 2021): This photo of the Bidens visiting Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter has captured the internet’s attention