Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has questioned the credibility of a doctor’s notes asserting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in good health, according to comments reported by Politico on Tuesday.
McConnell, age 81, has faced several public health scares in 2023, the most recent being when he froze while speaking with reporters in Kentucky on Aug. 30.
Paul, a physician and ophthalmologist, suggested that McConnell is suffering from a neurological issue, even as the Attending Physician of Congress has denied that McConnell’s freeze was prompted by serious health concerns, according to a report by Politico.
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“You know I’ve practiced medicine for over 20 years, I’ve seen people who are dehydrated. What’s occurring, from what I’ve seen, is a neurological event, it’s not dehydration,” Paul said, according to Politico. “I think my advice would be to be more forthcoming with what’s going on.”
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, wrote in a note issued Tuesday that “[t]here is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.” Monahan also wrote that he had consulted with “several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment” regarding McConnell’s health.
Monahan had cleared McConnell to continue his schedule during the Senate’s recess, writing that “[o]ccasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.” McConnell had experienced a concussion and fractured a rib after falling on March 8.
Other Republican senators have dismissed the idea that McConnell is in bad health.
“I mean, he’s had every medical test in the book and passed with flying colors. He’s just recovering from a concussion, which takes you a little longer when you’re up in years,” Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said, according to Politico.
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The average age in the United States Senate is approximately 65 years old, according to Pew Research Center.
“Severe aging health issues and/or mental health incompetence in our nation’s leaders MUST be addressed,” Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wrote on Twitter, now known as X, following McConnell’s latest freeze. “Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and Fetterman are examples of people who are not fit for office.”
Currently, the leading candidates for the 2024 presidential nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump — are 80 and 77 years of age, respectively. The Social Security Administration’s normal retirement age for Americans born between 1943 and 1954 is 66 years of age.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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