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Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks during a two-hour symposium called The Costs of War hosted by he Howard County Coalition for Peace and Justice to discuss the conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.
Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks during a two-hour symposium called The Costs of War hosted by he Howard County Coalition for Peace and Justice to discuss the conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan. (Elizabeth Malby /)

Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was in the hospital Friday for what his office described as a bacterial infection in his knee.

Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, underwent what aides said was a “minor procedure” for the infection at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has been in the hospital since Dec. 29.

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Cummings, 66, wrestled with his health for much of last year. He underwent what his office described at the time as a minimally invasive heart surgery in mid-May, but took far longer than expected to recover. The congressman told The Baltimore Sun over the summer that an infection prolonged that recovery.

Cummings’ congressional office released a three-sentence statement hours after his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, announced that she was suspending her gubernatorial campaign “due to personal considerations.”

Baltimore Democrat Maya Rockeymoore Cummings announced Friday morning she's dropping out of the crowded primary race for governor "due to personal considerations." Friday afternoon, her husband U.S. Elijah Cummings' staff said the congressman was hospitalized in the latest of health setbacks.

A Cummings spokeswoman did not respond to a question from The Sun about whether her decision to exit the race is related to the congressman’s health.

Cummings returned to Capitol Hill in September following his initial recovery and, while slimmer, kept a robust schedule and frequently spoke with reporters outside the House floor. He spoke with The Baltimore Sun the week before the House adjourned for its Christmas break.

“Doctors drained the infection in a minor procedure today,” Cummings’ office said in a statement. “He is resting comfortably and expects a full recovery.”

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