Progressives expressed gratitude and appreciation for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter late Saturday after his family announced he has opted to enter hospice care at age 98.
Carter has faced some health issues in recent years and received treatment for cancer in 2015. The Carter Center, the organization he established with his wife Rosalynn after his presidential term ended in 1981, said he has had "a series of short hospital stays" recently."
"Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention," said the Carter Center. "He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."
An outpouring of condolences followed on social media, with progressives acknowledging the Democrat's four-decade post-presidency as one that has exemplified public service.
The Carter Center was founded "on a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering," and has led efforts to fight disease and strengthen public health systems in the Global South as well as promoting peace in countries including South Sudan, Haiti, and Ethiopia.
Advocates for Palestinian rights noted that Carter has been an outspoken critic of Israel's violent policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, authoring the New York Times bestseller Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid in 2006.
While acknowledging that "no one leading the U.S. empire can have an impeccable moral record," political analyst Omar Baddar applauded Carter as striving to be "decent and principled" in his post-presidential years.
Others acknowledged Carter's hands-on volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, which he and Rosalynn Carter first joined in 1984, helping to renovate an abandoned building in New York City to help families in need of affordable housing. The couple volunteered with the organization every year until the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.
Former U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) posted a video of Carter debating former Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1980, in which Carter noted that his opponent "began his political career campaigning around this nation against Medicare."
"Now we have an opportunity to move toward national health insurance," said Carter, "with an emphasis on the prevention of disease; an emphasis on outpatient care, not inpatient care; an emphasis on hospital cost containment to hold down the cost of hospital care for those who are ill."
"During his presidency, he advocated to have Medicare cover all Americans," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner. "After his presidency, he continued humanitarian works that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should respect."