The Kentucky Republican froze for a second time in two months during a press conference Wednesday
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was cleared to go back to work on Thursday by the U.S. Capitol physician, one day after the Kentucky Republican, 81, froze for the second time in two months during a press conference.
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team. After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned,” Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol, wrote in a statement released by McConnell’s office, per CNN.
“Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” Monahan continued.
On Wednesday, McConnell suddenly stopped speaking during a press conference in Kentucky, as seen in footage WLWT producer Hannah Thomas shared on Twitter, now known as X. A reporter asked McConnell if he planned to run for reelection in 2026 when he froze. An aide repeated the question to McConnell, then told reporters he needed a moment.
“Leader McConnell felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today,” McConnell's spokesperson said after the incident. “While he feels fine, as a prudential measure, the Leader will be consulting a physician prior to his next event,” an aide added.
On Wednesday night, McConnell attended a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Indiana. CNN reports that McConnell did not discuss the freezing incident. Banks told CNN McConnell was “sharp,” “engaging” and “very dialed in on my race and following closely.”
“You know, he was his old self on the telephone, and having a little understanding of dealing with neurosurgeons and people,” Biden said during a visit to FEMA headquarters.
“One of the leading women on my staff’s husband is a neurosurgeon as well,” the president continued. “It’s not at all unusual to have a response … When you got a severe concussion, it’s part of recovery. And so I’m confident he’s going to be back to his old self.”
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The first time McConnell froze during a press conference was in July when he was taking questions from reporters at the Capitol. He suddenly stopped speaking mid-sentence and his colleagues surrounded him. McConnell then stood by as other senators spoke at the podium.
Later, a reporter asked McConnell if what happened was related to his fall in March. “I’m fine,” McConnell said, before telling the reporter he believed he could continue doing his job.
McConnell fell during an event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, D.C. in March. He was hospitalized for five days, and his medical team found he suffered a minor rib fracture and a concussion, a spokesperson said at the time.
McConnell has served as the GOP’s Senate Leader since 2007. Although his current term ends in 2027, Republican Senators will vote on their leadership again in 2025, when the next Congress begins.
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