There is no evidence that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) experienced a stroke or has a seizure disorder, according to Brian Monahan, the U.S. Capitol attending physician.
In a note released by McConnell’s office on Tuesday, Monahan said McConnell was cleared to resume his duties in the Senate after his alarming freeze-up in front of reporters last week, the second such episode he has had in recent weeks.
“My examination of you following your August 30, 2023, brief episode included several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment,” Monahan said. “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. There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall.”
The new health update comes as the Senate returns from its summer recess and questions mount over the longtime Republican leader’s health and political future.
McConnell, 81, fell and hit his head earlier this year, suffering a concussion that landed him in the hospital. Aides have explained his two freeze-ups as arising due to feeling lightheaded. But that hasn’t stopped calls for a fresh generation of leadership, including within the Republican Party.
“We can’t stand watching Dianne Feinstein sit there and be told by an aide how she should vote. We can’t worry about Mitch McConnell being frozen at a podium. We can’t have Joe Biden forget where he is,” GOP presidential candidate and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
They wrote in an editorial, “The time has come for the Kentucky senator, after his long, impressive run, to make the decision to step aside from leadership.”
McConnell acknowledged the freeze-up briefly in remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday, but he gave no more information about his health and declined to take questions from dozens of assembled reporters.
“One particular moment of my time back home has received its fair share of attention in the press over the past week, but I assure you, August was a busy and productive month for me and my staff,” McConnell said before summing up his activities back home in Kentucky over the recess break.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also welcomed McConnell back to the upper chamber in his floor speech earlier on Tuesday.
“I’m glad to see him back and doing well,” Schumer said.