McConnell Stumbles Again, Freezing Up During Press Conference

15:19 30.08.2023

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the longtime Republican leader, has experienced another concerning freeze-up during a news conference in Covington, Kentucky. This marks the second time in recent weeks that McConnell has been caught on camera in such an episode, raising questions about his future in the Senate.

The incident occurred after McConnell, who appeared thinner and frailer than in previous months, was asked about his thoughts on running for re-election in 2026. McConnell began to respond with a slight chuckle but abruptly stopped speaking, standing motionless behind the lectern with a pursed mouth and wide eyes. An aide approached him to inquire if he had heard the question, to which McConnell mumbled a yes but seemed unable to continue speaking or move.

This recent freeze-up mirrors a similar incident that took place just two months ago during one of McConnell's weekly news conferences in the Capitol. During that event, McConnell froze midsentence and had to be briefly escorted away from the microphones to recover. Some physicians who analyzed the video suggested that it could have been a mini-stroke or partial seizure, but McConnell's office declined to share details about his health or whether he consulted with a physician afterward.

Following Wednesday's episode, a spokesman revealed that McConnell felt lightheaded during the news conference and planned to consult with a physician before his next event as a safety measure. Inside the conference room, McConnell's aides appeared flustered by the senator's sudden spell. One aide addressed the reporters, apologizing and stating that they would need a minute. She then conferred with McConnell and a member of his security detail, who asked if McConnell wanted to step outside.

Despite appearing resistant at first, McConnell ultimately allowed himself to be led away but not before asserting that he was fine and remaining to answer some questions from the media. However, his speech seemed labored and slightly slurred. This incident, combined with the previous one, has raised concerns about McConnell's political future and ability to continue leading the Republican conference in the Senate.

McConnell's health issues trace back to March when he suffered a concussion after falling at a Washington hotel during a fundraising event. He was absent from the Senate for weeks, providing minimal updates on his health status. Since then, he has experienced at least two more falls, which were not disclosed by his office.

The latest incident has ignited discussions about the age of top figures in Washington, with President Joe Biden running for re-election at 80 and the average age in the Senate exceeding 64. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 90 years old, was also sidelined for months this year due to health complications. A Reuters/Ipsos poll in November revealed that 61% of Americans expressed concern that members of Congress are too old to represent the American people.

As speculation surrounding McConnell's political future mounts, it is worth noting that former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, is 77 years old. The incident involving McConnell further highlights the ongoing debate about age and its impact on the effectiveness of political leaders.

/ Wednesday, August 30, 2023, 3:19 PM /

themes:  Joe Biden  Donald Trump  Washington  Kentucky

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