‘Comprehensive Neurology Assessment’ from Congressional Physician Puts Mitch McConnell Stroke Rumors to Rest

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, is helped by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, after the 81-year-old GOP leader froze at the microphones as he arrived for a news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 26, 2023. McConnell went to his office for a few minutes and returned to speak with reporters.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Attending Physician of the Congress of the United States informed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that he had not had a stroke and was not suffering from a seizure disorder in a letter addressing two recent episodes involving McConnell sent on Tuesday.

“My examination of you following your August 30, 2023 episode included several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment,” wrote Dr. Brian P. Monahan.

“There is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease,” continued Monahan. “There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continued recovery from your March 2023 fall.”

Questions have been raised about the 81-year-old McConnell’s ability to continue serving after he paused, seemingly unable to speak in two separate instances over the summer.

The first episode occurred during a press conference in late July when McConnell trailed off in the middle of a statement before walking away with the help of an aide.

“He felt light headed and stepped away for a moment,” explained an aide at the time. “He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.”

The concerns about McConnell’s health were compounded, however, after he paused again last week while speaking with reporters. After fielding a question, McConnell seemed confused and fell silent. An aide repeated the question before asking reporters to clear the room.

McConnell’s staff again downplayed the incident away, saying he felt “momentarily lightheaded,” but assuring the pressed that he would be “consulting a physician prior to his next event.”

The longtime Republican leader was hospitalized with a concussion and fractured rib after falling in March. He returned to the Senate in mid-April, six weeks later.

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