Pete and Chasten Buttigieg’s son, Joseph Augustus, is out of the hospital and doing well, Chasten tweeted Friday.
“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!” he posted on Twitter. We’re so relieved, thankful, and excited for him and Penelope to take DC by storm! Thank you so much for all of the love and prayers.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his husband announced in September that they had become parents to twin babies, Joseph Augustus, nicknamed Gus, and Penelope Rose. That made the secretary the first out gay father in a president’s Cabinet. But this week they revealed that Gus had spent Halloween in the hospital. They did not state the nature of his illness.
Chasten also thanked the “countless medical professionals” who had cared for Gus and the other parents who had shared stories of dealing with infants’ illnesses.
Pete Buttigieg has been criticized by right-wing politicians and commentators for taking parental leave when the nation is facing a supply-chain crisis, and some of their comments have been sexist and homophobic. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, for instance, wondered if the secretary was trying to “figure out how to breastfeed.” Recently, Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, made similar remarks in a YouTube video, saying, “The guy was not working! Because why? He was trying to figure out how to chest feed.”
But Buttigieg remained on call for emergencies during his leave, and lately he’s been whipping up support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill. And he’s expertly clapped back at his critics, including Carlson.
“Well, look, in his case, I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle feeding, let alone the concept of paternity leave,” Buttigieg said on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House in October. “But what is really strange is that, you know, this is from a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro-family.”