By Terry Hunsicker
On July 28, and again on Aug. 30, senate minority leader Mitch McConnell froze for about 30 seconds while giving remarks to reporters at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol building and while visiting his home state of Kentucky.
The 81-year-old senator, representing Kentucky, has served as a member of the U.S. Senate since his election in January of 1985.
Although speculation has run rampant in the wake of the two incidents, Brian Monahan, a professor of medicine and pathology who serves as an attending physician for Congress, has reported that there is no evidence suggesting either incident resulted from a stroke or seizure.
“My examination of you following your August 30, 2023 brief episode included several medical evaluations” said Monahan in a released letter to the senator “There is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.”
In his letter to senator McConnell, Monahan references a fall that occurred at a private event in March that resulted in a brief hospitalization, as reported by Politico.
“There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall.”
While the Republican consensus is supportive of McConell, some members of the Republican party have voiced displeasure with his current status as Republican leader following his latest freeze.
Two notable critics of McConnell following his recent freezing incidents were Majorie Taylor Greene, house representative from Georgia, and Josh Hawley, senator from Missouri, however it is likely that this outcry is influenced by previous disagreements between the two congress members and McConnell.
Mitch McConnell’s hiccups have also brought to light similar concerns with both senator Dianne Feinstein, currently serving as the senate representative from California at age 90, and president Joe Biden who is seeking reelection while 80 years old.
Dianne Feinstein recently came under fire for accidentally beginning to read a statement when asked to cast a vote for a military budget on July 27, with colleagues surrounding her having to prompt Feinstein to vote.
“For goodness sake, the family, friends, and staff of Senators Feinstein and McConnell are doing them and our country a tremendous disservice.” Said Dean Phillips, a democrat house representative serving in Minnesota’s third district, on the social media platform X.
Joe Biden has faced criticism throughout his initial 2020 campaign and during his administration for his age and health, with critics pointing to incidents such as a June 1st incident in which Biden tripped over a sandbag, and an incident later that month in which Biden fell of a bicycle. Although neither of these events have been conclusively tied to long term health concerns, Republicans have highlighted fears over Biden’s health in their own election bids.
Former president Donald Trump repeated those concerns in a recent radio interview where he both says that he hopes that Biden will run for reelection due to his confidence in beating Biden in the polls, while also claiming that Biden is neither physically nor mentally capable of being a president in his current state.