Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is “medically clear” to proceed working, the attending physician for the U.S. Congress said someday after the Kentucky Republican froze during a press conference for the second time this summer.
“Occasional lightheadedness will not be unusual in concussion recovery and may also be expected because of this of dehydration,” Dr. Brian Monahan said in a letter shared Thursday from McConnell’s office.
The doctor was referencing a concussion that McConnell, 81, had suffered in March after a fall at a political fundraiser.
Monahan said he has “consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred together with his neurology team,” and gave him the all-clear after “evaluating yesterday’s incident.”
That incident got here at first of a Wednesday afternoon press conference in Covington, Kentucky, when McConnell abruptly stopped speaking and stared straight ahead for about 30 seconds.
He appeared to fail to reply when an aide approached him to ask if he had heard a reporter’s query. McConnell had been asked for his thoughts about running for reelection.
The episode echoed the same health scare in July, when McConnell suddenly froze and was briefly unable to talk at a news conference in Washington, D.C.
But Monahan said in Thursday’s letter that he has “informed Leader McConnell that he’s medically clear to proceed together with his schedule as planned.”
The physician’s assessment was backed up later Thursday by President Joe Biden, who said McConnell gave the impression of “his old self” when he called him on the phone.
“It’s under no circumstances unusual to have the response that sometimes happens to Mitch, while you’ve had a severe concussion,” Biden said during a surprise visit to FEMA headquarters.
“It is a component of the recovery. And so I’m confident he’ll be back to his old self,” Biden said.
The Democratic president had wished McConnell well after his fall in March, and the senator said the president had called him up following his verbal freeze in July. “I told him I got sandbagged,” McConnell said he told the president at the moment.
An aide to McConnell had previously described the lapse in Covington as the results of the senator feeling “momentarily lightheaded.”
McConnell participated in a discussion with Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., later Wednesday evening, his office confirmed to CNBC.
McConnell’s health is a growing cause for concern amongst a few of his Senate colleagues, in response to Politico, which reported that some GOP members are weighing whether to force a special conference meeting in regards to the Republican leader’s recent incidents.