Husband of U.S. transportation secretary says infant son out of hospital

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate panel holds hearing for transportation nominee

By Diane Bartz and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, said on Friday the couple’s infant son Gus had been released from the hospital after being on a ventilator for a week.

The couple, who adopted twins Penelope Rose and Joseph August (Gus) in August, had posted a picture of themselves with a baby in a hospital on Halloween.

“After 3 weeks in and out of hospitals, 125 miles in an ambulance, and a terrifying week on a ventilator, Gus is home, smiling, and doing great!” Chasten Buttigieg said on Twitter on Friday.

Pete Buttigieg, who has said the babies were premature, tweeted that he was “thankful, relieved, and reflecting a great deal on the mixture of joy, terror, and love that is parenting.”

Neither said what the baby was being treated for. A Transportation Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay U.S. Cabinet secretary, was credited with shattering a centuries-old political barrier for LGBTQ Americans when he was overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate as transportation secretary in February.

Some Republicans and conservative pundits attacked Buttigieg recently for taking paid paternity leave. He has made the case that the U.S. government needs to guarantee paid leave for all new parents.

“This is work. My work day as secretary of transportation starts at a relatively normal hour. My work day as a dad starts at about 3 in the morning when Chasten finally hits the sack and it’s my turn to start that first feeding,” Buttigieg has said.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and David Shepardson; Editing by David Gregorio and Sandra Maler)