Capitol Hill physician says Mitch McConnell is “medically cleared” to continue schedule

August 31, 2023

Capitol Hill physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan released a statement Thursday saying Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is “medically cleared” to continue his schedule after freezing up for at least a second time in front of reporters on Wednesday.

The doctor’s statement reads in part, “I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team. After evaluating Yesterdays incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically cleared to continue with his schedule as planned.”

McConnell stood silent, appearing to freeze up, for about 30 seconds during a Chamber of Commerce event in Covington, Kentucky on Wednesday.

Video of the incident can be viewed here.

The 81-year-old was asked whether he planned to run for reelection in 2026 when he went silent. An aide came to his side and asked, “Did you hear the question, Senator?” When he remained unresponsive, the aide told those gathered, “All right, I’m sorry, you all, we’re going to need a minute.”

After a moment McConnell reengaged, and responded briefly to a question about Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, though his aide needed to repeat the question to him.

It was at least the second such incident in little over a month. In July, McConnell told reporters he was “fine” after freezing during his weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol building.

On March 8 McConnell was hospitalized after suffering a fall while dining at a DC restaurant. He was diagnosed with concussion and a fractured rib, but was discharged on March 14, after which his office said he would undergo a “period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home.”

He was released from that rehab facility on March 25. And returned to the Senate in April after a six-week absence.

Dr. Monahan referenced McConnell’s concussion in his statement, writing, “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”

PHOTO: Mitch McConnell July 26  

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