Mitch McConnell says his health is fine after photos of bruising on his hands, face

Jeremy Chisenhall
·3 min read

Bruising and skin discoloration provoked continuing concern Thursday for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s health, but he dismissed questions.

The Senate majority leader’s hands and arms showed bruising in photos captured by the Associated Press Tuesday. He also had bruises on his face in a photo taken by Getty Images.

McConnell’s response when asked by Politico if he had any health issues the public didn’t know about: “Of course not.” McConnell didn’t respond when asked if he was being treated by a doctor for any medical conditions, according to multiple reports.

The 78-year-old senator, who is running for re-election against Democrat Amy McGrath, also told reporters Thursday there were “no concerns.” Some medications can make people susceptible to bruising.

When asked if the majority leader was experiencing health issues, McConnell’s office sent a link to a tweet detailing an exchange between McConnell and a Washington D.C. reporter where McConnell said he was fine.

“It’s understandable that Senator McConnell might not want to discuss questions about his health so close to an election,” Marisa McNee, a spokesperson for Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement. “But as Senate Majority Leader, he is a public figure which requires more disclosure and transparency than just the average private person.”

McConnell has a history of health issues. He’s a polio survivor, he had triple bypass heart surgery in 2003 and he broke his shoulder after falling in August 2019.

He has taken COVID-19 precautions seriously. He criticized President Donald Trump and his staffers after a White House COVID-19 outbreak for not taking enough safety precautions. He hadn’t visited the White House since early August, he said earlier this month.

McConnell has carried on with his usual business in the last few days despite the bruising shown in the photos. He took to the Senate floor Thursday to scold Democrats in a 12-minute speech for their opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The hands U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were seen when he talked to the media this week.
The hands U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were seen when he talked to the media this week.

He said Democrats on the Judiciary Committee delivered a unanimous vote on Barrett through a “temper tantrum” — Democrats on the panel boycotted the vote — instead of a “fair appraisal.” He said on Twitter Thursday that Barrett’s nomination would receive a vote on the Senate floor “in the next several days.”

In addition to Thursday’s public remarks, McConnell on Wednesday spoke for about 10 minutes on the Senate floor to say Democrats were to blame if another COVID-19 stimulus package couldn’t be passed.

“The legislation before us is neither Republicans’ nor Democrats’ idea of a perfect bill,” McConnell said. “I think we’re all clear on that. But it would move us past (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s) all-or-nothing obstruction and deliver huge support, right now, for the most pressing needs of our nation.”

But McConnell told fellow Republicans that he warned the White House not to settle on a $2 trillion relief deal with Pelosi before the election, according to the AP.

The bruising and small bandages on McConnell’s hands were visible in videos of his Wednesday and Thursday speeches.