McConnell Suffers from Mysterious Episode During Press Remarks

( – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave Americans a scare on July 26 as he froze up for nearly half a minute just shortly after beginning a Republican press conference. Other Republican Senators came to his aid several seconds after his voice trailed off as he stood in silence with a blank stare on his face. McConnell was escorted from the lectern and another senator led the briefing, but he returned shortly and appeared to be back to his normal self. A spokesperson later confirmed that he was experiencing lightheadedness, but it is unclear if he has been seen by a doctor since the incident.

Just four months ago, Senator McConnell was hospitalized after he fell at a Washington D.C. hotel, suffering a concussion and a broken rib. While some who are unaware of his medical history have poked fun at the way he moves about, Senator McConnell walks with a slight limp because of a previous Polio infection. He also fell at a D.C. airport earlier this month and another time during a trip to Finland in February. While he normally walks unassisted at the Capitol, the 81-year-old has recently been using a wheelchair as a “precautionary measure in a crowded area,” according to a spokesperson for the senator.

The incident has renewed questions about the capabilities of aging members of Congress, with several reporters questioning Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the July 27 daily briefing. While she refused to engage in making assumptions or declarations regarding Senator McConnell’s health and fitness for duty, she acknowledged that President Biden had called to check on him. McConnell informed the press later in the evening that he told President Biden that “he got sandbagged,” referencing President Biden’s recent fall in June after delivering a commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy. McConnell appeared to be in good health the following day when he met with Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

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