Secretary of State John Kerry got choked up Wednesday while thanking the public for its support as his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, recovers from seizure-like symptoms.

Meanwhile, the State Department announced Kerry will return to Massachusetts to be with his wife. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will replace Kerry as host of  U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Thursday.

Kerry said Heinz-Kerry, 74, is improving and has been upgraded to "fair" condition.

"Teresa is doing better, under evaluation and, we hope, improving," Kerry said, wiping away a tear and choking up. "I want to thank everybody for the remarkable outpouring of good wishes. It's been really very special. We are very, very humbled by the expressions of support. I think she's coming along, and I know, when she's able, she'll thank everybody herself."

Burns will be host the conference along with Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.