Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is considering a run for president as an independent, has been missing in action over the past couple of months.
And on Wednesday, he told voters why.
Schultz, in an email to supporters obtained by USA TODAY, said he was visiting Arizona when he "experienced acute back pain that required me to cut my travels short." As a result, over the past two months he has undergone three separate back surgeries.
"Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate. I have decided to take the summer to do just that," he said.
Schultz said that he would be in touch with voters after Labor Day, which is on Sept. 2.
The businessman in January announced that he was interested in a bid for president as a "centrist independent." Schultz was formerly a longtime Democrat.
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Since he announced his interest, however, a number of liberal pundits have come out against Schultz's possible bid, saying that it would likely ensure that President Donald Trump will be re-elected.
Schultz throughout the spring had a media blitz where he talked about his latest book, "From the Ground Up." In addition to holding several town halls, including on CNN and Fox News, to appeal to voters.
However, in the past several months Schultz has been out of the news. He hasn't held any public events over the past couple of weeks. His social media presence has also slowed. He went from tweeting nearly every day, to tweeting only twice in May and only once in June so far.
He wrote in the statement to his supporters Wednesday that he had traveled to 15 states since he began weighing a bid, adding that he's met with thousands of people.
"So many have been exceedingly gracious and forthcoming about their lives—their problems as well as their achievements, their worries as well as their hopes," he wrote. "What I saw and heard provided a beautiful window into the strong soul of our country."
Schultz thanked the people he has been able to meet with, who have supported him, and the stories and ideas that they've shared with him.
"My concern for our country’s future remains, as does my belief that the American people deserve so much more from our elected officials," he continued in his statement. "Civility. Honesty. Real problem solving. My belief in these ideals will never waver."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, mulling a run for president, taking summer off after back surgeries