Doctor says “no evidence” Mitch McConnell suffered a stroke

September 5, 2023

Capitol Hill physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan said Tuesday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) shows “no evidence” of having suffered a seizure disorder, stroke or Parkinson’s disease during two episodes in which he froze up in front of a microphone.

“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,” Dr. Brian Monahan wrote in a letter to McConnell that was released publicly.

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

Last week, Dr. Monahan said that McConnell was “medically cleared” to continue his schedule following the incident in Kentucky, adding, “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”

The U.S. Senate returned to work on Tuesday following its August break.

PHOTO: Mitch McConnell, July 26

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