On the game show Claim to Fame, a contestant is talking about former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s health.
Hugo Wentzel, a former contestant on the ABC show who is also the 39th president’s grandson, recently opened up on whether or not he has been able to pay a visit to Carter since filming wrapped.
“It’s been harder and harder to see him,” the 24-year-old, whose mother is Amy Carter, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly on August 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 updated us on the 98-year-old politician’s condition since hospice care was declared for him in February by The Carter Center.
“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.”
Wentzel also discussed his grandmother, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 95, whose diagnosis of dementia was made public 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.”
On the August 7 episode of Claim to Fame, after Wentzel revealed his family connection to the Carters, he lauded his grandfather for his personal and political achievements.
“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 sent Carter a heartfelt note. “I love you so much, Papa. You’re amazing, and I will do everything I can to keep your legacy alive.”
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Just before he went, he gave the audience one more bit of guidance. Wentzel concluded, “Lead with love,” adding, “that’s all I gotta say.”
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