July 27, 2023

Mitch McConnell Freezes During Press Conference, Escorted Away

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) froze during a Wednesday press conference and had to be led away briefly before returning.

McConnell later returned and was able to complete the question and answer time of the event.

"McConnell, R-Ky., had been making his opening remarks about an annual defense policy bill when he stopped talking," NBC News reported.

"He was silent for 19 seconds. His Republican colleagues asked whether he was OK, and a top McConnell deputy, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, a physician, escorted McConnell, 81, away from the cameras and reporters," it added.

McConnell has reportedly dealt with other recent health issues, according to a report by Mediaite.

"[A] July 14 fall, which has not been previously reported, occurred after the flight out of Washington was canceled while everyone was on board. McConnell, R-Ky., who was a passenger on the plane, had a 'face plant,' someone who was on the plane at the time but did not witness the fall told NBC News. That passenger also said they spoke to another passenger who helped tend to McConnell after the fall," it noted.

"The Senate’s top Republican has also recently been using a wheelchair as a precautionary measure when navigating crowded airports, according to a source familiar with his practices," the report continued.

At 81, McConnell is among the oldest serving senators, adding to questions of health issues in both parties.

Among Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has missed weeks of Senate activity due to illness while Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) missed much of his first session of the Senate after checking into a hospital for depression.

The physical concerns for McConnell also add to growing tensions in both parties as the debate increases headed toward the 2024 election for president and among many in the Senate.

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