Republican Sen. Rand Paul questioned the medical opinion of a doctor who evaluated Senate Minority Leader Mitchell McConnell this past week and concluded his recent episodes of freezing up in public are simply the lingering effects of a concussion.
McConnell first froze up in July while addressing reporters in Washington:
Flag: McConnell just stopped abruptly during his opening statement during the gop leadership presser and appeared to be unable to restart talking. He then stepped away and walked away with Barrasso: pic.twitter.com/f1kFUjggzm
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2023
In August, it happened again as the 81-year-old spoke to reporters in Covington, Kentucky:
BREAKING: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to FREEZE again while taking questions. pic.twitter.com/MVZNsuq838
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 30, 2023
Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of both Congress and the Supreme Court, released a statement on Tuesday after he evaluated McConnell.
Monahan wrote that the 81-year-old did not suffer a stroke or a seizure during either event.
“My examination of you following your August 30, 2023 brief episode included several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment,” Monahan stated, according to The Hill.
The physician added: “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. There are no changes recommended in treatment protocols as you continue recovery from your March 2023 fall.”
Monahan also attributed the senator’s recent issues partially to dehydration.
The senator fell at his Kentucky home in March and suffered both a concussion and a fractured rib. He returned to the Senate the following month and experienced no outward health issues for months.
But his recent public episodes have had many people questioning whether it is time for him to retire.
Paul, an ophthalmologist, did not call on McConnell to step aside on Tuesday when he was asked about his colleague, nor did he say he believes the longest-serving Senate leader in history is incapable of working.
But he did question Monahan’s assessment of McConnell during an interview with multiple reporters.
“I think it’s an inadequate explanation to say this is dehydration,” Paul stated.
He added, “I’ve practiced medicine for 25 years, and it doesn’t look like dehydration to me. It looks like a focal neurologic event. That doesn’t mean it’s incapacitating. It doesn’t mean he can’t serve.”
Paul concluded, “But it means that somebody ought to wake up and say, ‘Wow! This looks like a seizure.’”