President Joe Biden came to the defense of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell amid concerns about McConnell’s health, addressing the issue during a press conference.
During the press conference, President Biden highlighted that McConnell’s “response” during his recovery from a concussion was not unusual.
McConnell had suffered a concussion after a fall on March 8 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Washington, according to a report from the New York Post. He also had another fall on July 14 while exiting an airplane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in northern Virginia.
Thirteen days after his second fall, McConnell appeared to freeze momentarily while answering a reporter’s question at the Capitol. Although he was initially led away by colleagues, he later returned to respond to additional questions.
Recently, McConnell experienced another brief episode of freezing during a news conference, as reported by the Post. This raised concerns among donors and fellow Republicans about the health of the 81-year-old senator.
President Biden revealed that he had spoken with McConnell and found him to be in good spirits. He reassured reporters, saying, “I spoke to Mitch; he’s a friend, and I spoke to him today. And, you know, he was his old self on the telephone.”
Biden also mentioned that one of the leading women on his staff is married to a neurosurgeon and explained that McConnell’s response was not uncommon in individuals recovering from a severe concussion. He concluded by expressing confidence that McConnell would soon be back to his usual self.
The issue of term limits for aging lawmakers has been raised by some media figures and political personalities in the context of the health of senior legislators.
McConnell’s office attributed his momentary pauses to “lightheadedness” and noted that his doctor had given him the green light to continue his legislative duties.
As reported by the Post, Capitol Attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan cleared McConnell to resume his work, stating that occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon during concussion recovery and can also result from dehydration.