Following the apparent freeze-up he experienced last week, Kentucky senator Rand Paul expressed skepticism regarding the conclusions drawn from the letter the Capitol attending physician wrote about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician at the Capitol, confirmed in a letter on Tuesday that he examined McConnell, R-Ky., following his most recent incident, which occurred last week in front of reporters at an event in Covington, Kentucky. In his letter, Monahan stated that “there is no evidence” that McConnell has a seizure disorder or “experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.”
In addition, Monahan said in a statement the week before that he had “consulted” with McConnell, 81, as well as “conferred” with his neurology team, and that he had concluded that McConnell was “medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.” The doctor went on to say, “Lightheadedness is common during the recovery process from a concussion and can also be caused by dehydration.”
Rand Paul doubts
McConnell, a former eye doctor, stated that senators should be “forthcoming about what’s going on with their health problems” when Paul questioned the explanation for McConnell’s freeze-up on Tuesday.
“Obviously not being in the position — not seeing the X-rays, not seeing the radiology — I can really only comment, I guess, on what they have released,” Paul told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. The Senate physician adds, referring to an electroencephalogram, “He has a normal EEG.”
He went on: Because well over 80% of people who have short seizures have normal EEGs, it is hard to say that a person is not having seizures. Even if they last longer, only about half of them result in abnormal EEGs. An EEG frequently misses things during a single office visit. A 24-hour EEG might miss some things.
Paul claimed that the physician at the Capitol did not provide him with “a valid medical diagnosis.”
“Everyone has seen the clips,” he stated. The medical diagnosis of dehydration is unfounded.
Paul did not specify whether he was concerned regarding McConnell’s health-related workload: There is really nothing I can say about that. The fact that it does not appear dehydrated is my only observation.
When asked whether he was certain McConnell could lead the conference, Paul also declined to answer directly. However, he stated that McConnell has “been up to the task” in his opinion.
“And so this isn’t a criticism of him or anything — it’s a criticism of the way it’s being handled publicly, by giving a diagnosis that everybody thinks is a lot less than it actually is,” Paul stated. “And so this isn’t a criticism of him or anything.” This does not mean anything negative about him. As a result, this does not in any way reflect poorly on him. This has no negative effect on him. People naturally conclude that the situation is significantly worse than it actually is as a result. On the other hand, it might be treatable. The treatment of seizures Many high-functioning workers are affected by seizures. Many seizures go away after trauma, but I don’t know everything.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Paul made the following statements once more: You should really base your advice about a person’s possible diagnosis on the facts. Additionally, I am able to inform you that prolonged unresponsiveness lasting longer than thirty seconds does not always indicate dehydration.
Paul also emphasized that McConnell’s diagnosis is more important to him than his eligibility for Senate service.
At an event in Kentucky, McConnell froze and appeared unable to speak for about 30 seconds when a reporter asked him if he planned to run for president again in 2026. As a result, both his health and his capacity to lead Republicans in the Senate were questioned. This seemed to be his second public freeze-up after two months.
At the end of July, McConnell appeared to freeze for nearly 20 seconds in front of the cameras at a weekly leadership news conference. According to NBC News, McConnell, a polio survivor who has struggled with stairs and other obstacles, fell on July 14 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. A few weeks later, the occurrence took place. He was not seriously hurt in the incident.
McConnell also suffered a concussion in a fall in March, keeping him out of action for nearly six weeks prior to the alleged freeze-ups.
Additional Republican colleagues extended their support.
“He’s still on his game mentally,” said Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., to reporters on Tuesday.
Mitt Romney of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota all told reporters on Tuesday that they have no doubts about McConnell’s ability to lead the Senate Republicans.
During the remaining 86,380 seconds of the day, Romney stated to NBC News, “The reality is that we may expect that Mitch McConnell will check out for 20 seconds a day, but he does a pretty darn good job.” He hasn’t illustrated, as I would like to think, that he can’t lead talks, fund-raise, choose conservatives, or lead our council in the correct course. He has demonstrated that he has previously accomplished that. He will continue doing that in the future.”
Graham offered the advice, “Just trust the doctor’s evaluation.”
“I like Mitch, and, you know, let’s just move forward hoping that he’s in a good spot here,” he said, noting that he was pleased McConnell had been examined and expressing his gratitude.
When asked if he is concerned about McConnell’s capacity to lead the GOP, Graham responded, “No, I’m fantastic.”
Cramer said that Monahan’s diagnosis of McConnell was “pretty encouraging” in a similar vein.
“That is the truth, and I have no reason to doubt it, and it may very well be the truth,” the author asserts. That is the truth. Everyone should keep in mind, in my opinion, that he suffered a concussion following a recent, quite serious fall. Could it be that he went back to work too quickly? However, as previously stated, “he really is quite sharp when you sit down and talk to him,” Cramer added. He still has more faith in me than the majority of my friends do.