Capitol Doctor Says McConnell Did Not Have a Stroke or Seizure


Hoping to reassure his colleagues that he’s bodily in a position to proceed as minority chief, Senator Mitch McConnell launched a letter on Tuesday from the attending doctor of Congress declaring that an examination and exams had dominated out a stroke or seizure as causes of his latest on-camera medical episodes.

Within the letter, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Navy rear admiral who serves because the on-site physician within the Capitol for members of Congress and the Supreme Court docket, stated his examination of Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky — together with a mind M.R.I., an electroencephalogram research and a neurological session — had discovered no signal of a seizure dysfunction or stroke.

Each prospects and others have been raised by medical professionals who watched video of Mr. McConnell inexplicably freezing up throughout a information convention final week in addition to an analogous episode on the Capitol in July.

“There isn’t a proof that you’ve got a seizure dysfunction or that you simply skilled a stroke, TIA or motion dysfunction comparable to Parkinson’s illness,” the letter stated, utilizing a shorthand for transient ischemic assault, a form of mini stroke. “There aren’t any modifications advisable in therapy protocols as you proceed restoration out of your March 2023 fall.”

Mr. McConnell and his aides have attributed each alarming medical episodes to lightheadedness stemming from a concussion he suffered after a critical fall at a Washington resort in March, in addition to being dehydrated on the time of his appearances. Dr. Monahan cited an analogous purpose when he issued a letter after Mr. McConnell’s incident final week earlier than having examined him or performed any exams.

With the Senate returning on Tuesday after the prolonged August break, Republicans gathered for the primary time since Mr. McConnell’s newest public incident, which has raised quiet questions on his potential to steer Senate Republicans and spurred hypothesis a few doable succession. The discharge of the second medical be aware from the Capitol doctor seemed to be an effort to go off any actual motion relating to his management and to indicate colleagues he was not hiding the true extent of his medical situation.

As he entered the Senate chamber on Tuesday, Mr. McConnell didn’t reply to questions from reporters about his well being, however he obliquely addressed it on the ground as he talked in regards to the busy schedule he stored in Kentucky in the course of the previous month.

“Now one specific second of my time again house has obtained its fair proportion of consideration within the press over the previous week, however I guarantee you August was a busy and productive month for me and my employees again within the commonwealth,” he stated as he ticked off occasions from his recess schedule.

Democrats made it some extent to welcome Mr. McConnell again.

“I’m glad to see him again and doing properly,” stated Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief.

To this point, no senator has publicly referred to as for any dialogue of Mr. McConnell’s well being, and most Republicans who’ve spoken have been supportive of him.

“Mitch is sharp, and he’s shrewd,” Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, stated Sunday on CNN. “He understands what must be performed. I’ll go away it as much as him as to how he needs to debate that with the American public. However there’s little doubt in my thoughts that he’s completely able to persevering with on at this stage of the sport.”

Senate Republicans are scheduled to collect on Wednesday for his or her first personal luncheon since July and Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and an in depth ally of Mr. McConnell, stated he anticipated the social gathering chief to debate his well being standing.

“I’m assured there’ll be some conversations or conferences,” stated Mr. Cornyn, who stated he welcomed the brand new letter from the Capitol doctor and the extra medical info.

“He feels good,” Mr. Cornyn stated about Mr. McConnell. “He looks like he’s as much as his job. However these two episodes, which clearly rattled all people — it’s simply taking longer than I believe he anticipated to get better from the concussion.”

After final week’s incident, Mr. McConnell referred to as quite a few senators to attempt to allay fears about his well being. He instructed them that the incidents have been clearly negative effects of his fall and had solely occurred twice, although every time had been in entrance of tv cameras current to report his remarks to the media.

Dr. Monahan not often speaks in public about his job — and virtually by no means in regards to the medical situation of a member of Congress — strongly suggesting that the pair of transient statements he has written up about Mr. McConnell’s situation over the previous few have been solicited by the senator.

“He wouldn’t have launched the letter if he didn’t need that subject to be laid to relaxation,” Mr. Cornyn stated on Tuesday of Mr. McConnell.

An inside drugs, hematology and medical oncology physician, Dr. Monahan has served because the attending doctor since 2009, when he was nominated to the submit by President Barack Obama.

Kayla Guo contributed reporting.


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