Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was “medically clear” to continue working after he froze for a second time during a press conference, RadarOnline.com has learned.
McConnell, 81, was unable to answer a reporter’s question during a press event on Wednesday. The bizarre moment raised further concern — and criticism — over the rising age of lawmakers in Washington D.C.
One day after McConnell’s latest freezing incident, Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician for U.S. Congress, cleared the senator to continue his daily duties.
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team,” Monahan wrote in a letter to McConnell’s office on Thursday. After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.”
The physician noted that “occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” according to CNBC.
Back in March, McConnell sustained a concussion after a falling incident. While Dr. Monahan cleared McConnell to continue as normal, critics on both sides of the aisle called for his resignation, noting concern for him to effectively serve given recent health challenges.
Never miss a story — sign up for the RadarOnline.com newsletter to get your daily dose of dope. Daily. Breaking. Celebrity news. All free.
McConnell’s latest incident ironically followed a reporter’s question about his intent to run for reelection. For about 30 seconds, McConnell stopped speaking and blankly stared at members of the press from behind the podium in Covington, Kentucky.
After the first few awkward seconds, a female aide stepped in and asked if McConnell heard the question. The senator did not respond to the aide and continued to stare into the abyss.
“All right, I’m sorry, you all,” the aide told the press. “We’re going to need a minute.”
McConnell’s blank stare on Wednesday mirrored his first incident back in July. While speaking to the press in Washington D.C., McConnell suddenly froze mid-sentence. Fellow Republican Senator John Thune, who was standing nearby, approached the podium and helped walk McConnell away from the mic.
At the same time, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst appeared to make a silent prayer for the minority leader as they were seen making the sign of the cross. Despite cause for alarm, Thune insisted McConnell was fine.
McConnell’s freezing incidents were not a good look for his party, especially given Republican criticism over President Joe Biden‘s cognitive abilities given his age. At 80 years old, Biden is the oldest president to hold office.
In an unsurprising move, Biden backed up Monahan’s claims that McConnell was fit to return to work. The Democrat president said he called McConnell after the latest incident, adding he sounded like “his old self.”