George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush are keeping themselves busy while practicing social distancing amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The former president recently sent a note to his staff, obtained by The Dallas Morning News, to talk about the country’s response to the deadly respiratory virus and reassure them during this uncertain time.
In the email President Bush reportedly wrote that he and the former first lady, both 73, were “handwashing and social distancing to the max,” adding that he was spending his time “reading, painting and riding mountain bikes,” while she was “reading, working puzzles and hiking.”
“And yes, we’re bingeing –— mysteries, dramas and documentaries,” he added. (The former first couple have been quiet on social media but ” typically split time between Dallas and their ranch in Crawford,” according to the Morning News.)
President Bush also spoke about Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serve on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, noting that while “these are difficult days for our country,” he has “absolute confidence in the experts who are in charge.”
“Laura and I know Deb Birx and Tony Fauci well, as do many of you,” the president reportedly wrote. “And we know the character of our country. Like other crises we have overcome, we will come out of this better informed and stronger together.”
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The 43rd president urged his staff to watch out for their own health and thanked them for their work.
“Please be safe. Take care of yourselves and your families. Get exercise. And yes, keep working hard,” he wrote. “We appreciate you, we care about you, and we are thinking of you.”
The couple’s twin daughters appear to have remained in their respective cities. (A spokesman for the Bush family did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager is still in New York City, now the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, where she lives with husband Henry Hager and their three children, Margaret, 6, Poppy Louise, 4 and Henry “Hal” Harold, 7 months.
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Jenna, 38, has been open about how she and her family have been spending this time together, writing on Instagram this week that she’s been “hugging my babes, calling my friends and family, and finding comfort in books.”
As for her twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush, PEOPLE reported last year that she moved to Boston with her husband, screenwriter Craig Coyne, so she could attend graduate school.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub. (People.com Latest News) More