Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the US Senate, clearly does not suffer from a ‘seizure disorder,’ a stroke or a ‘movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease,’ the congressional physician says . said Tuesday.
The doctor’s comments come a little less than a week after the 81-year-old senator suffered a second worrying freeze in front of journalists.
Last week, the doctor, Brian P. Monahan, cleared McConnell to return to work after the freezing of Kentucky Wednesday. Monahan said McConnell may be suffering from the effects of a concussion suffered in a fall in March, or perhaps dehydration.
In a letter published on TuesdayMonahan discussed the senator’s “brief episode” and said he conducted “several medical evaluations,” including “a brain MRI, an EEG [electroencephalogram] study and consultations with several neurologists for a complete neurological assessment.”
“There is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or have had a stroke, TIA [transient ischemic attack] or movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease,” Monahan’s letter states. “No changes are recommended in treatment protocols as you continue your recovery from your March 2023 fall.”
That fall also resulted in a rib injury, keeping McConnell away from the Capitol.
Speculation on his future as Republican leader is destined to continue despite Monahan’s assurances. After McConnell’s first freeze in front of reporters, at the Capitol in late July, other falls, including a “face plant” at an airport, were widely reported.
Senate Republicans have avoided openly questioning their leader’s fitness to serve, but some, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the issue was increasingly problematic.
Senators returned to Washington on Tuesday for a month filled with political problems, including a push by Republican extremists in the House to impeach Joe Biden, shut down the government or both.
On Tuesday afternoon, McConnell delivered a speech on the Senate floor.
Referring to his freeze in Kentucky as a time during the Senate’s summer recess that “received its fair share of attention in the press,” he turned to discussing district business and the work at hand. come.
“The Senate returns with its work cut out for it and a fast-approaching deadline,” he said, referring to the Sept. 30 deadline for continued government funding.
Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, told CNN: “I had the chance to interact with Senator McConnell and see that he is still in charge of this file. [Republican] caucus…I think that’s a decision his caucus will have to make as to whether he continues. It certainly looks like he can continue to do this job.
Public polls show that most Americans think their leaders are getting too old, with a majority favoring higher age limits.
Also majorities think that at 80, Biden is too old to run for re-election as president. Weaker majorities are concerned roughly the age of his likely challenger, Donald Trump, who, at 77, is 14 years shy of the time needed to face criminal charges.
In the Senate, the oldest on record, the evidently deteriorating health of 90-year-old California Democrat Dianne Feinstein has long been a subject of controversy, particularly during her own prolonged absence for health reasons.
Feinstein will retire next year. McConnell has repeatedly said he intends to complete his seventh term, which ends in 2026.
If the seat becomes vacant, Kentucky state law says Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear must choose a Republican replacement. Asked if he would look for a way around the requirement, Beshear avoided comment.