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Emotional Kerry says wife "is doing better"

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Washington, D.C., to help kick off a two-day "dialogue" with senior Chinese officials and opened the meeting with an emotional thank you to those who reached out after his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, fell ill on Sunday.

"Teresa is doing better, under evaluation and we hope improving," Kerry said at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue being held at the State Department. He tearfully thanked people for "the remarkable outpouring of good wishes. It's been really pretty special."

"I think she's coming along, and I know when she's able to, she'll thank everybody herself," he added.

The 74-year-old Heinz Kerry was initially hospitalized on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts Sunday while vacationing with her husband and was later transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for further tests.

"The well-wishes have been humbling and overwhelming, including tweets and Facebook postings; flower arrangements and offers of food; and messages of comfort from other [Massachusetts General Hospital] patients, former staff, Senate and House colleagues and members of the Executive Branch, as well as many dear and longtime friends and the Secretary's 2004 presidential campaign team," Kerry spokesman Glen Johnson said Tuesday.

"The family has also been touched by messages and phone calls from leaders in foreign governments who know and have worked with the Secretary and Mrs. Heinz Kerry," he added.

Kerry will head back to Boston Wednesday.

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