McConnell brushes off medical incident, touts ‘busy’ August in Senate return

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday used his first speech on the Senate floor since his second freeze-up in as many months to acknowledge the incident but tout his “busy month” over the August recess.

McConnell made headlines last week when he froze for about 30 seconds while speaking to reporters in his home state, leading to more questions about his health following a similar incident at the Capitol in late July.

“One particular moment of my time back home has received its fair share of attention in the press over the past week,” McConnell said as the Senate reconvened. “But I assure you August was a busy month for me and my staff back in [Kentucky.]”

The leader went on to discuss meetings he held in western Kentucky and Louisville related to economic issues, the opioid crisis and agriculture, among other topics.

McConnell’s office earlier Tuesday released a letter Brian Monahan, the Capitol attending physician, sent to McConnell after examining him days after the incident back home. Monahan said in the letter that the Kentucky Republican does not have a seizure disorder, did not suffer a stroke and does not have Parkinson’s disease.

“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 wrote. “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,” Monahan added.

McConnell has received vocal support from a number of top Senate Republicans in the days since his freeze.

The first incident took place July 26, shortly before lawmakers broke for the August recess.

McConnell was hospitalized in March after he fell during a dinner in Washington and suffered a concussion and a fractured rib. He made his return to the Capitol more than a month later. Outlets have also reported other medical incidents that have taken place this year, including one in July when he fell while deplaning at Reagan National Airport.

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