Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security, was in critical but stable condition this evening at an undisclosed D.C.-area hospital after suffering a stroke.
Ridge said in a statement posted on the former Pennsylvania governor’s Twitter account that he was transported from his Bethesda, Md., home to the hospital by ambulance this morning after the stroke.
Ridge, 75, “was conscious when he arrived at the emergency department and later underwent a successful procedure to remove a blood clot,” the statement said.
“The family requests your prayers for a full recovery,” the statement added. “Further updates will be provided as events warrant.”
He previously suffered a heart attack in 2017 at a Republican Governors Association conference. Ridge was first elected governor in 1994 and left in 2001 to serve as President George W. Bush’s homeland security advisor and leader of the Office of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks, and then served as the first leader of the newly established Department of Homeland Security. He later founded risk management firm Ridge Global.
Ridge co-chairs the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense with former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). On May 28, Ridge and commission member former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) warned in a USA Today op-ed that “none of our nation’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors (including the health care and public health sector and the food and agriculture sector) has planned adequately for biological incidents.” The commission plans to release a report soon on the critical infrastructure vulnerabilities.
Ridge recently joined former Homeland Security secretaries Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson calling for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.