Videos of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell freezing in the middle of a press conference have sparked concern online.
During a Senate Republican Press conference on July 26, McConnell abruptly stopped talking, seemingly frozen in place, and stood for several moments at the podium without talking. He was ultimately escorted out of the room by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming before Senator John Thune of South Dakota took over.
JUST IN – Mitch McConnell stopped speaking and froze at the press conference in the Senatepic.twitter.com/qQvj52noej
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 26, 2023
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa could be seen making the sign of the cross “as if she was praying for McConnell,” per NBC News.
“Mitch McConnell has cognitive malfunction at podium,” wrote Rogan Hanley, known as DC Draino, on Twitter. “This man has clear cognitive impairments after sustaining serious head trauma from his fall a few months ago. It is clear that he should resign.”
McConnell later returned to the press conference and said he was fine when asked about his health.
UPDATE: McConnell is back at the presser. pic.twitter.com/hrAdKXpAVX
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2023
Earlier this morning, McConnell denounced President Biden’s economic policies while speaking from the Senate floor.
“The Biden Administration has been working overtime to sell the American people a fantasy. The President would like working families who have struggled under two years of soaring inflation to believe their refrain that ‘Bidenomics’ is working for America,’” the Kentucky senator said, according to his office. “No matter how many ways Administration officials spin the numbers, folks who work for a living and manage a family budget know that ‘Bidenomics’ has made their lives harder. They know that prices have risen 16.6% since the President took office because they feel it every time they pay their bills.”
The 81-year-old tripped and fell on March 8 while attending the Senate Leadership Fund at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington. He reportedly suffered a concussion and spent a week in the hospital before being released on March 13.
“At the advice of his physician, the next step will be a period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home,” said David Popp, McConnell’s communication director, in a statement. “Over the course of treatment this weekend, the Leader’s medical team discovered that he also suffered a minor rib fracture on Wednesday, for which he is also being treated.”
McConnell, who has represented Kentucky since 1985, returned to the Senate on April 17 – six weeks after his fall.