Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE NATION

Mineta to Have Surgery to Replace His Left Hip

January 30, 2002|RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, who is overseeing the creation of an aviation security system, will undergo surgery to replace his left hip later this week, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

"He has a painful condition that has had an impact on his mobility, and he was finally convinced to get it taken care of," spokesman Chet Lunner said.

Convalescence from hip replacement surgery usually takes several months, but Lunner said that Mineta intends to remain engaged in leading the department.

Mineta, 70, a former longtime congressman from San Jose, is the only Democrat in President Bush's Cabinet. On Sept. 11, he rushed to the White House after hijacked jets struck the World Trade Center. Working from an underground bunker with Vice President Dick Cheney and key staff, he ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to ground more than 4,500 planes that were airborne at the time.

His aides say Mineta has been putting in 14 hours or more a day since then, first negotiating with Congress over a bill that placed the government directly in charge of airport security, and more recently guiding the establishment of the new transportation security agency.

Hip replacement is a common surgical procedure, usually prescribed for chronic problems, such as severe arthritis. Lunner said he did not know the underlying condition prompting Mineta's surgery. The operation is scheduled for early Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|