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Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge Suffers Stroke at Bethesda Home

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.

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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