Jimmy Carter's Grandson Shares Health Update on "Really Sick" Former President

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A Claim to Fame contestant is giving insight into former U.S. president Jimmy Carter's health.

After competitor Hugo Wentzel was eliminated from the ABC series and revealed he's Carter's grandson, he discussed whether he's been able to visit the 39th commander-in-chief since filming the show.

"It's been harder and harder to see him," the 24-year-old, whose mother is Carter's daughter Amy, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Aug. 8. "My mom spends a lot of her time with him. She spends almost half her time taking care of him at this point just because of things like COVID regulations. So, it's really family oriented. I haven't been seeing him as much recently, but he knows that I love him and we're supporting him through this time."

Wentzel also shared how the 98-year-old politician has been doing since his organization, The Carter Center, announced in February that he's receiving hospice care at home.

"He's pretty sick," he noted to the outlet. "He still does use his brain. He listens to audiobooks. He's a genius. He's super smart. I love him. He always wants to be doing something with his mind, so he's trying to keep himself busy, but he is really sick and getting older."

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In addition to speaking about his grandfather, Wentzel talked about his grandmother former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 95, whose dementia diagnosis was first shared in March.

"I just want to say that she's an amazing woman," he continued. "She's put in so much work in her life. She's done things for mental health. I want everyone to know how incredibly important and beautiful she is as a person and a grandma. Yeah, she does have dementia and when I see her, she does forget what's going on sometimes, but when she remembers it's amazing. I love her."

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, 2015
Future-Image/ZUMA Wire

After Wentzel revealed he's related to the Carters on the Aug. 7 episode of Claim to Fame, he went on to praise his grandfather for his personal and political legacy.

"He's an amazing grandpa, honestly," he told his fellow contestants. "I love him so much. I call him Papa. He led America and my family very well. I stand for everything he stands for. He believes in equality for everyone regardless of race, class, gender, anything. He's an amazing person. I aspire to be like him one day."

And Wentzel shared a sweet message to Carter. "I love you so much, Papa. You're amazing, and I will do everything I can to keep your legacy alive."

Before exiting the show, he left viewers with one final piece of advice. "Lead with love," Wentzel added, "that's all I gotta say."

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