KENTUCKY, USA — Sen. GOP leader Mitch McConnell was medically cleared a day he appeared to briefly freeze up and was unable to answer a question from a reporter at an event in Kentucky.
The Capitol's attending physician Dr. Brian Monahan released a statement Thursday saying:
"I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team. After evaluating yesterday's incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned. Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration."
As seen on video from a local news station, the 81-year-old McConnell was asked Wednesday whether he would run for reelection in 2026. The senator asked the reporter to repeat the question before trailing off and staring straight ahead for about 10 seconds.
An aide standing at the front of the room with McConnell then asked him whether he heard the question and repeated it to him. When McConnell did not answer, the aide announced to the room that “we’re going to need a minute," and McConnell continued to stare ahead. In all, he was silent for around 30 seconds.
McConnell eventually answered two additional questions — though not the one about a 2026 campaign — and was halting and appeared to have some difficulty speaking. The woman then ended the news conference and McConnell left the room, walking slowly.
McConnell's reaction was similar to an occurrence in July, when he froze for about 20 seconds at a news conference in the Capitol. That time, he went back to his office with aides and then returned to answer more questions.
In March, McConnell fell at a Washington hotel and sustained a concussion.
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