The 81-year-old chuckled as reporters peppered him with questions about his very public health scares and insisted he’s been transparent.
“Dr. Monahan’s report addressed these concerns,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters during a brief press gaggle. “I really have nothing to add. I think he pretty well covered the subject.”
On Tuesday, McConnell’s office released a statement from Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan who examined the GOP Senate leader.
Monahan didn’t disclose what caused McConnell’s freezing episodes and stressed that “there is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA [mini-stroke] or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.”
A growing chorus of Republicans — including former President Donald Trump, 77 — have suggested the minority leader step aside, but McConnell was adamant that he plans to stick around.
The 81-year-old GOP leader was coy about his recent health scares during a press conference Wednesday.Getty Images
Before the Q&A, Mitch McConnell blamed President Biden for being slow in delivering aid to Ukraine. REUTERS
“I’m going to finish my term as leader and I’m going to finish my Senate term,” McConnell defiantly declared before departing the press conference.
McConnell’s question-and-answer with the congressional press corps lasted just under two minutes and followed a lengthier Senate GOP update to the public on their agenda.
Both of the longtime senator’s public freezing episodes occurred during press conferences.
McConnell first froze mid-sentence on July 26 for about 20 seconds during a press conference with the congressional press corps.
He again grew stone-faced and paused for about 30 seconds on Aug. 30 while addressing a reporter’s question about whether he intends to vie for re-election in 2024 in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati.
The Senate minority leader’s public freezing up on July 26 spooked the beltway.AP
Last week, Monahan deemed McConnell “medically clear” to carry on with his duties in the upper chamber.
“Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” the doctor noted last week.
McConnell suffered a concussion and minor rib fracture on March 8 after falling during a fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, DC. He was sidelined from Senate chambers for weeks as a result.
Sen. Mitch McConnell is famously tight-lipped and guarded with his words. REUTERS
Monahan’s remarks drew skepticism from McConnell’s Kentucky counterpart, Sen. Rand Paul, a licensed physician.
“When you get dehydrated you don’t have moments when your eyes look in the distance with a vacant look and you’re sort of basically unconscious with your eyes open. That’s not a symptom of dehydration,” he said, according to a reporter from The Hill.
Medical experts have suggested to The Post that a partial seizure could explain McConnell’s health snafus.
Monahan carefully ruled out the possibility of a “seizure disorder.”
McConnell’s aides have emphasized that he was lucid after both public bouts of verbal paralysis and insisted that he was merely feeling light-headed.
The concussion and freeze-ups are not the senator’s only public health scares.
In July, Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC) revealed to reporters that McConnell fell in February while leading a delegation of senators to Finland but appeared uninjured.
He also reportedly fell while deplaning a canceled flight at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in northern Virginia on July 14.
The Kentucky senator has been coy about whether he intends to run for re-election in 2026.REUTERS
McConnell has led the Senate GOP since 2007, rendering him the longest Senate Republican leader in US history.
Should he step aside early, Kentucky law mandates the governor appoint a Republican replacement, though Gov. Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) has not committed to abiding by that.