Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the longtime Republican chief who suffered a severe head damage in a fall earlier this yr, skilled one other alarming freeze-up at a information convention on Wednesday in Covington, Ky., the second such episode caught on digicam in current weeks.
Mr. McConnell, 81, was taking questions from reporters after an occasion hosted by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce when he was requested for his ideas on working for re-election in 2026. Mr. McConnell, who appeared thinner and frailer than he has in current months, started to reply the query with a slight chuckle when he abruptly stopped talking, standing immobile behind a lectern along with his mouth pursed and his eyes huge.
When an aide approached to ask if he had heard the query, he mumbled “sure,” however he appeared unable to proceed talking or to maneuver.
It was the second such incident in two months, and the scene intensified questions on Mr. McConnell’s future within the Senate.
Mr. McConnell froze midsentence final month throughout an look at his weekly information convention within the Capitol and was briefly escorted away from the microphones to get better.
Some physicians who considered video of the information convention on the time stated it may have been a mini stroke or partial seizure. However Mr. McConnell’s workplace declined to share particulars about his well being, together with whether or not he consulted with a doctor after the incident.
After Wednesday’s episode, a spokesman stated that Mr. McConnell had felt lightheaded in the course of the information convention and as a security measure deliberate to seek the advice of with a doctor earlier than his subsequent occasion.
Inside a convention room in Kentucky the place Mr. McConnell was talking, his aides have been flustered by the senator’s abrupt spell.
“I’m sorry, you all, we’re going to wish a minute,” an aide informed the assembled reporters. She conferred briefly with Mr. McConnell and a person who gave the impression to be a member of his safety element, who requested him if he needed to step outdoors.
Mr. McConnell appeared to withstand efforts to be led away, saying he was high quality and staying to reply questions from the media. However his talking appeared labored and barely slurred, and he was led away inside minutes.
Final month, he additionally rapidly returned to his information convention after which carried on along with his common schedule. He shared little details about the episode and tried to minimize any issues about his well being or his skill to proceed to guide the Republican convention within the Senate, even because the incident raised questions on his political future.
Mr. McConnell had a concussion in March when he fell at a Washington lodge throughout a fund-raising occasion, and was absent from the Senate for weeks whereas giving virtually no updates on his well being standing. Since then, he has had not less than two extra falls, which his workplace didn’t disclose.