Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell sought to assure the public Wednesday that he is fine and remains fit to serve in office despite two recent episodes in which he froze up talking to media.
McConnnell, 81, said he would not be retiring after receiving a clean bill of health in the aftermath of the second episode.
“I’m going to finish my term as leader and I’m going to finish my Senate term,” McConnell told media in Washington. His Senate term runs through January 2027.
The Kentucky senator’s proclamation comes a week after he froze midsentence, while fielding reporters’ questions at a media event in his home state, gazing into the distance for 30 seconds. It was the second such incident in the past month for McConnell.
“I have no announcement to make on that subject,” he said Wednesday.
McConnell also said he had nothing to add to the doctors’ reports addressing the episodes that were released publicly last week, the first of which said they were the likely result of a concussion suffered in March or from dehydration. A second doctors report ruled out a stroke or any kind of seizure disorder, as well as a “movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.”
The reports written by the U.S. Capitol’s attending physician, Brian Monahan, were met with no shortage of skepticism in the media and on Capitol Hill.
Earlier Wednesday, Kentucky’s other senator, Rand Paul, who is a former physician, expressed doubt over the doctor’s report.
“When you get dehydrated you don’t have moments when your eyes look in the distance with a vacant look and you’re sort of basically unconscious with your eyes open,” Paul told reporters. “That’s not a symptom of dehydration.”
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has offered assurance his old friend McConnell was fine and that the episodes were indeed the result of the concussion.
Watch video of McConnell addressing media below.
Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said he plans to serve the rest of his two-year term as party leader and his full six-year term in office after two recent episodes in which the 81-year-old froze up while in public https://t.co/mFapHHzcYf pic.twitter.com/eOmB2YrSwW
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 6, 2023
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